857. Inherent Vice (2014)

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2.2 Totally incomprehensible
  • Acting 2.1
  • Directing 2.6
  • Story 1.8
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Katherine Waterston, Josh Brolin

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Running Time: 148 mins


Inherent Vice is an American film about a detective who becomes wrapped up in the confusing investigation of the disappearance of his former girlfriend in the drug-fueled world of 1970s Los Angeles.

Well, this is perhaps one of the most disappointing films I’ve ever seen. The trailer above is a lot of fun, with cool music behind it, snappy dialogue, and a couple of laughs, but that’s totally misrepresentative of the appalling film that this actually is.

The worst problem by a mile is that the story is totally incomprehensible. The film hinges pretty significantly on the first ten minutes or so, so make sure you’re paying attention then, because it determines the whole plot, but even if you do, you’ll got through this film watching this detective walk around Los Angeles and talk to various people about something or other, but you’ll very rarely have any idea who’s involved, why or what the hell is actually going on.

And the reason that it’s impossible to actually figure out what’s going on as the film goes on is because the dialogue is so bad. Firstly, the actors mumble, A LOT, meaning that it doesn’t really matter if they’re saying anything important , because you simply can’t hear what they’re talking about.

Secondly, the dialogue is so dull and long-winded. As I said, the trailer seems to make it all look a bit weird but still fun and snappy, but in the film, conversations go on for up to 15 minutes in one room, at the slowest pace imaginable, and when you don’t know what they’re talking about, you end up wondering why you’re actually bothering to listen.

Also, this film has a running time of 148 minutes. Now, I’m absolutely certain that they could have cut out at least an hour of this film, because there’s so much unnecessary silence, staring and other pointlessness, but it’s the dialogue that really draws the film out for two and a half of the longest hours you’ll ever spend watching a film.

Finally, the acting here is shockingly bad. You get a few chuckles from Josh Brolin here and there, but apart from that, EVERYONE here was just very poor. It’s full of random cameos that the detective goes to speak to, who add a pointless extra layer of confusion to the whole story, but the worst performance by a mile was the central one given by Joaquin Phoenix.

He was absolutely insufferable for the whole film, his mumbling was completely excessive, he made his character feel like too much of a stoner, which gave him a very lumbering and dull quality, and there was simply never a point throughout where I ever cared about him or what he was doing (or anyone else for that matter).

Overall, this gets a 2.2 from me, because it was a horrifically dull and painfully slow film to watch, with terrible dialogue and acting, as well as one of the most incomprehensible plot’s you’ll ever see.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com

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