Friday, January 9, 2015

Inherent Vice Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon & Joaquin Phoenix (r) reunite in Inherent Vice

Welcome to a World of Inconvenience

Rotten Tomatoes PlotInherent Vice is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel. When private eye Doc Sportello's ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin... well, easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic '60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," that's being way too overused - except this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists... Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp - all Thomas Pynchon.

Pynchon's complex, but worry not... Phoenix and co. rise above a few incoherencies to produce the funniest movie in years. Inherently irreverent, Vice had me doubled-over in laughter on several occasions. Phoenix, Josh Brolin (oral fixation!) and a wicked Martin Short delight; but leave it to the ladies to win me over. Hong Chau shines as Jade, and Jena Malone tops a long list of great lines with, "I try to talk kids into sensible drug use." Her job? Drug counselor. Runs long and requires 2-3 viewings (unless you're super observant) but the end results are worth every extra minute.