In 1970's Los Angeles, a private detective investigates the
disappearances of a wealthy real estate mogul and an old girlfriend.
Inherent Vice (2015)
Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson,
Katherine Waterston, Benicio Del Toro, Reese Witherspoon,
Jena Malone, Martin Short, Eric Roberts, Serena Scott Thomas
Based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon
Oscar Nominations - Best Adapted Screenplay,
Best Costume Design
I had expected much more from Inherent Vice. It was billed as a comedy with an all-star cast, but this was not the case. The film is far from a comedy, apart from a few comedic moments. Needless to say, I was disappointed.
This film does have some great performances, particularly from Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin. I just wish these performances could have excelled in a coherent, easier-to-follow film. Inherent Vice was unbelievably convoluted and contained several important plot threads that do not connect in the slightest. It's quite infuriating and by the halfway point, I found myself wishing the film was over.
I really wish Inherent Vice could have been great. I had such high hopes and this boring snoozefest dashed every one of them. Hopefully, Paul Thomas Anderson does better with his next film, which I hope is something of his own design.
Paul Thomas Anderson should stick to original ideas, not adapting other people's work. As a fan of the director's previous work, this film was a major disappointment. The trailers were also extraordinarily misleading as it was billed as a straight up comedy, instead of a dramatic film with a few comedic moments.
The film does benefit slightly from the actors great performances throughout. Joaquin Phoenix delivers another stellar performance as a pothead and private detective. Josh Brolin is hilarious in his role of a police detective. The running joke with him eating bananas and ordering food at a Japanese restaurant were hysterical. Apart from that, the film is a major slog that is incredibly incoherent. There are plot threats that never seem to connect, leading to more frustration than is needed.
Inherent Vice should have been a great movie based off its ensemble cast and stellar production design. Instead, it turned to be a major snoozefest that had me falling asleep towards the end. I hope Paul Thomas Anderson does a much better job with his next movie.