Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

directed by Terry Gilliam
released in 1998
duration 118 minutes

This cannot be true: my bad movie streak continues. After Jean-Luc Godard's stupid Week End and Robert Day's boring She, I just watched two minutes short of two hours of mindless drug abuse. Did I enjoy it? Hell no! It was pure torture and I simply failed to see what is the point of the film. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starts with drug abuse. Then it continues with drug abuse. It ends with drug abuse. And sadly, that is all there really is in this senseless movie.

There is no real plot, the story just revolves around two idiots getting their minds screwed by whatever drugs they can come by. They use coke, they use heroin, they use weed, they use acid, they use booze, they use anything to get fucked up. They drive a car through a desert and while doing so, they abuse drugs. They end up in another city, go into a hotel and, yes, then again they abuse drugs.

Frankly, the only good thing in this movie is the soundtrack, but so what? If it is indeed the only good thing, then just buy the damn songs individually, or buy the soundtrack, and skip the fucking movie!

In the end of the movie they also manage to mock Tim Leary's idea of expanding one's mind with psychedelic drugs. Guess what? If you abuse the drugs and your only intention is to fuck up your brain, you will get what you asked for: a fucked up brain. Leary and Richard Alpert (now known as Ram Dass) had a completely different attitude towards psychedelics. They actually tried to achieve something and expand their thinking. They did not want to get fucked up.

To sum it up, I did not enjoy the endless drug abuse in this film, but found it very boring and even sad. The criticism towards Leary was also quite biased and almost without foundation. There is a huge difference between moronic drug abuse and controlled use when trying to honestly expand one's mind. I do not recommend this movie.

copyright © 2010 Kalevi Kolttonen <kalevi@kolttonen.fi>