Inherent Vice, based on the 2009 novel by Thomas Pynchon, and screenplay written/directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, is a wild ride from start to finish. How would I sum up this move? Think, The Big Lebowski + Scooby-Doo + Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas. Yeah. Wild. And to make it even more fun – my local theater The Alamo Draft House, had a huge part in making the first viewing extra special.
Remember when you first watched The Big Lebowski? Remember that “WTF” feeling you had when things kept getting more complicated and asinine as the plot progressed? Yeah, well – you’re going to have that feeling again with Inherent Vice, but this time the drugs are heavier and the feet dirtier.
The cast is amazing. Joaquin Phoenix plays a character named Doc Sportello and delivers a very realistic stoner point of view, which I’m sure was such a stretch for Joaquin. Josh Brolin plays a pissed off cop, which is very Josh Brolin of him. And the rest of the supporting cast found in Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterson (and a bunch more that I won’t spoil) helped move the story along in bits a pieces so that you weren’t left in a sort of “stoned” stupor.
Now, while this sort of movie (for some) may be hard to sit through since the plot is thick and the story is complicated, I would implore you to at least give it a try. You can tell throughout the movie that Pynchon has main plots, sub plots, and sub-sub plots that all roll into one story, but if you are not paying attention, then you may get lost in the the minutia. Either way, the delivery from the cast is well worth a good time at the theater if nothing else.
I also wanted to give a shout out to the Alamo Drafthouse for their ability to make this movie-going experience extra awesome. There are certain scenes throughout the movie where Josh Brolin’s character “Bigfoot” is eating. And he eats very specific things. I won’t spoil that piece of it for you, because that’s a fun part to the movie. But I will spoil what Alamo did. To enhance the experience of these “Bigfoot” scenes with Brolin, The Alamo Drafthouse surprised movie goers (me & the crowd) with the food he was eating in that scene. So we see Brolin eat, and then BAM! Plates of food are brought out to us. We see Brolin eat again, and BAM, new plate of food. This was all unprovoked, we didn’t pay extra for any of the treats, and it was a wonderful addition to an already fun movie. Thanks Alamo, you continue to be one of the best theaters out there!
So all in all people – I give this movie 7.5 joints out of 10. And I’m sure this rating will rise when I can see it again to truly appreciate it’s intricacies. Alamo gets 10 out of 10 joints because of the free food. You always win with free food!