|Ratings||UK: 18, USA: R, Spain: 18, Singapore: R21,|
|Source of story||A book of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson|
|Writers/Script||Terry Gilliam, Toni Grisoni, Tod Davies, Alex Cox|
|Starring||Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Mark Harmon, Verne Troyer, Gary Busey, Christina Ricci, Harry Dean Stanton, Ellen Barkin, Cameron Diaz,|
|Ratings||IMDb: 7.6 by 257,562 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 49% by 69 critics.|
Elevator Pitch: It is 1971, and Raoul Duke accompanied by his friend Dr Gonzo make their way to Las Vegas where Duke is to report on a motor cycle race, the Mint 400. The task is soon forgotten as the two descend into a drug fuelled hell involving the trashing of their various hotel rooms and the destruction of a number of hire cars.
Content: There is not much of a story but quite a bit of content. No nudity, but it seems possible that one lizard in a bar was having sex with another. Also some quite graphic dialogue at one point, involving a girl who Dr Gonzo has collected somehow and who is on an LSD trip. At the start the two pick up a hitchhiker, who later leaps out of the car and runs away. Some scenes of erratic driving in the desert, and one car chase involving a highway patrolman. But most of the time spent in various hotel rooms which are gradually trashed.
A View: Critics were divided about the movie, Roger Ebert, usually mild in his criticism, called it “disgraceful”, others seem to have enjoyed it. I came to it without any previous knowledge and after the first hour of complete madness was minded to abandon it, which would have been a first in my film reviewing career. But I held on and once Dr Gonzo has departed the script settled down a bit, it could have been just a breathing space. But despite the fact that I found watching the whole thing difficult, and have no experience of drug taking except for alcohol, I felt a curious glow of satisfaction as the credits rolled. So if you have read this you might or might not venture into the movie’s world.
Additional info: Terry Gilliam fell out with the Writers Guild of America who insisted on retaining the names of Alex Cox, and Tod Davies in the credits.