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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Year: 1998
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Hunter S Thompson
Cast: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Mark Harmon, Christina Ricci, Cameron Diaz, Lyle Lovett, Flea, Gary Busey, Harry Dean Stanton, Ellen Barkin
In all of us there's a little sniggering kid who delights in anything our parents and society always told us was 'bad', secretly thumbing our noses at parental authority. So when stories concerning overt sex or drugs are involved, they're shoe-ins to become cult classics, and this is the coolest of recent cult movies for that reason.

And because of the too-cool-for-school following the film enjoys, I thought it would be a lot more sophisticated and serious than it was. At its core, it was nothing more than a slapstick comedy about two bozos who make it their ambition to take every kind of illicit drug known to man.

Johnny Depp hams it to the max in his performance and voiceover as he and Del Toro play a sports writer and his lawyer sent to Las Vegas to cover a motorbike race, the whole time abusing a variety of substances that place them in amusing and outlandish situations.

Terry Gilliam was the perfect director to create the vision of Thompson's book because of his flying camera-work, larger-than-life settings and drug-trip visuals, but it doesn't really have anything to say or a point apart from being a funny story about two guys taking lots of drugs. Of the celebrity cameos, I only recognised Gary Busey, Cameron Diaz and Christina Ricci.

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