SYNOPSIS: “Inherent Vice,” is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel.
When private eye Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a loony bin…well, easy for her to say.
It’s the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s being way too overused—except this one usually leads to trouble.
With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists... Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp—all Thomas Pynchon.
Because of my disgust of having to sit through this flick and likewise because of my curiosity getting the best of me, I felt compelled to do the research on the naming of this crazy flick. Hence, according to the Encarta dictionary (North America), the namesake "Inherent Vice" refers to "the tendency in physical objects to deteriorate because of the fundamental instability of the components of which they are made, as opposed to deterioration caused by external forces." This perfect description is a mouthful that seemingly refers to the simultaneously apparent madness that unfolds in this poor excuse for good storytelling.
As I watched this flick, I actually struggled to make sense of what was going on between characters from scene to scene resulting in my being totally lost when it came to understanding the plot. I found myself confused and began to think that I had somehow missed something along the way. This is how the characters must have felt when trying to uncover some kind of conspiracy while being mentally impaired from constant drug use. This went on for the majority of the time I spent watching and waiting for something significant to unfold; consequently, leading to my abandoning the screening at approximately an hour and ten minutes after it started.
According to what I’ve been able to gather (since walking out of the screening half way through the 148 minute runtime), "Inherent Vice" is a film about a stoner which [the film] itself seems stoned and disconnected like its characters and its plot. For the life of me, I cannot recall a film, in recent times, being as repulsive as this flick. It has brought bad film-making and storytelling to an all-time low for me.
If one is so compelled to watch this sorry excuse for a movie, be sure to ignore all of the twists and turns in the supposed story line. Doing so will save you from problems that could come with this flick if you don’t know what you’re in store for. Other than that, this is a struggling film that will probably attract a cult following (probably half-baked folks), from people with the ability to find these types of flicks entertaining. I certainly cannot recommend this for theater viewing whatsoever, and can barely offer two out of five stars for this film.
By Movi-Man Stan
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Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Genre: Comedy Crime
Duration: 2hr 29mins
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix
Producer: Daniel Lupi
for drug use throughout, sexual
content, graphic nudity,
Release Date: January 9, 2015
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