Review Date: May 23, 1998
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Tod Davies, Alex Cox
Producers: Patrick Cassavetti, Laila Nabulsi, Stephen Nemeth
Benicio Del Toro
Johnny Depp chews into his role like an overgrown child sucking on a chocolate lollipop. During the filming, Depp apparently become fast friends with real-life writer Thompson, and was known to wander off the set from time to time, for the sake of checking out the newest barmaid at the local watering hole. I thought he did seem to exaggerate his walk a little bit too much, but then again, this movie is supposed to be a wild exaggeration of everything and anything, so who am I to talk.
The one thing that did blow my mind was the actual physical transformation endured by actor Benicio Del Toro for his role as Dr. Gonzo. I couldn't believe that this fat, Samoan lawyer, was the same guy who played the slick mumbling criminal in THE USUAL SUSPECTS (7/10). Word on the street is that gained over 40 pounds for this role, and I must say that his look was deliciously reprehensible. Plenty of cameos also pepper this kaleidoscopic moving picture in the form of Ellen Barkin, Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire and Cameron Diaz, along with a bunch of others.
Other than that, the soundtrack was expectedly eclectic, the style was not as wild as I thought it would be, and the ending was certainly not much of a barn-burner, but then again, who really noticed. This movie is about visions of bats floating through your head, Johnny Depp looking goofy and being bald, and the cornucopia of drug-ravaged scenes filling your own intoxicated system with ideas of anarchy, rebellion and the lost American Dream. And for all those who plan on seeing this movie without the partnership of a mean drink or a mighty doobie, I suggest you move further down the aisle, buy yourself a ticket to GODZILLA (4/10), and enjoy the visual fabrications manufactured for the unstimulated mind.