Friday, January 8, 2016

Movie review: Inherent Vice

A private detective living in 1970's Los Angeles, hippie Doc Sportello is as focused on consuming herb as he is on solving cases. Contacted by his ex-girlfriend, Doc finds himself in the middle of a bizarre case wherein his ex-girlfriend believes her new lover's wife is trying to have him committed to a mental asylum.

Joaquin Phoenix (Doc), Katherine Waterston (Shasta), Josh Brolin (Bigfoot), Eric Roberts (Wolfmann), Serena Thomas (Sloane), Hong Chau (Jade), Joanna Newsom (Sortilege), Jordan Hearn (Denis), Benicio Del Toro (Sauncho), Owen Wilson (Coy), Reese Witherspoon (Penny).

Inherent Vice begins well enough with some mild plot setup and character introductions before rolling into the main plot. That is also the point at which things go sideways and the storyline becomes ridiculously confusing. The remainder of the film feels like a series of disjointed events that infrequently are revealed as related, though it often feels like an accident. There are a lot of plots in this one wrapped around sub-plots which only enhance the chaotic presentation of the story. Pay attention or you will easily be lost here.

Acting was interesting and pretty good. Phoenix did a nice job of playing the stoned out hippie gumshoe Doc Sportello. Waterston was interesting with mild energy but a good fit. Brolin fit nicely and did a good job moving between antagonist and supporting character. Roberts did well with his minor role as did Chau. Del Toro and Wilson both felt in-type and did nicely. Witherspoon was a nice surprise.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds felt good with a fairly realistic 70's feel throughout. Action scenes were mild, and didn't appear to use much CGI, but fit the film nicely. Dialogue was mediocre with some slow spots, quite a bit of mumbling from Phoenix, and some bright spots that helped explain things a bit. Sound and soundtrack were appropriate and enjoyable.

Overall Inherent Vice is something of a jumbled mess that actually tells a story if you are able to dedicate your attention to the film. Sadly, that is more difficult than it sounds. Those who enjoy cerebral films, or disjointed storytelling, should enjoy this one.

With constant drug use, sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, and foul language save this one for the oldest teens and above.

Released: 2014
Reviewed: 12.28.15
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Drama, Crime Drama, Crime Thriller, Crime Comedy, Crime

copyright ©2015 Dave Riedel

No comments:

Mine mine mine!!!!

Blog disclaimer and copyright information. . .

-I hope to make this blog revenue generating in the future and as such any posts found here may be paid posts. If you want to pay me to post for you, let me know!
-Content may change over time resulting in inaccuracies. I also make mistakes, some will be here.
-I have no control over what is at the other end of any links you may find here.
-Film pictures, dvd covers, film banners or whatever you like to call them are copied here from widely available public locations. I did not create them nor do I own them.
-Any files, programs or downloadables are provided only for convenience and fun. I in no way warrant, represent, or otherwise imply they won’t cause you problems. Use at your own risk! If your computer blows up I don’t want to even hear about it.
-Reviews posted here are my opinion and meant as informational for prospective viewers and are not meant to malign, defame, or otherwise harm anyone or anything. They also are not meant as advice or counsel , not necessarily factual or absolute, and the author will not be held responsible for the results of their use.
-Comments are NOT the opinion of this author, nor is he responsible or liable for the comments or their results. I will try to moderate them in a reasonable (to me) manner.
-Translation of any portion of this blog may result in other than desirable language for which the author is not responsible. Furthermore, I’m not an English major so there will be bad grammar and punctuation found here. There may also be language that is intentionally objectionable to support my opinions. Tough.
-Copyright: All reviews and opinions expressed here by the author are owned by the author. Please enjoy reposting and/or linking, I ask only that you give proper credit and inform me you have used my content for your own pleasure and devious purposes.
-Legal limit on damages: .02 cents, U.S. (Yes, I will give you my 2 cents worth if you abuse me in court).