Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


Gonzo guru Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-addled dissection of the American Dream finally made it to the big screen in this wiggy, whacked-out 1998 comedy from offbeat auteur Terry Gilliam (Brazil).
It’s 1971, and journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp, delivering an enjoyably ether-fogged performance) barrels toward Las Vegas in clunky convertible named The Red Shark – accompanied by a trunkful of contraband and his slightly unhinged Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo (a bizarre Benicio del Toro) – to cover a motorcycle race. However, what should be a cut-and-dried journalistic assignment quickly descends into a feverish psychedelic odyssey fueled by hallucinogens too numerous to mention. Fully embracing the tripped-out, paranoid lunacy of Thompson’s classic book, this nutty, big-budget freak show (featuring an all-star cast including Tobey Maguire, Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci, Gary Busey and Harry Dean Stanton) is a road trip into insanity both hilarious and savage. (Dir. by Terry Gilliam, 1998, USA, 118 mins., Rated R) Digital