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The attorney is Dr. Both Duke and the Doctor are one-dimensional walking chemistry sets, lacking the perspective on themselves that they have in both the book and the strip. The result is a horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose--a one joke movie, if it had one joke.

The two characters wander witlessly past the bizarre backdrops of Las Vegas some real, some hallucinated, all interchangeable while zonked out of their minds. Humor depends on attitude.

Unheralded Scene: FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998)

Beyond a certain point, you don't have an attitude, you simply inhabit a state. I've heard a lot of funny jokes about drunks and druggies, but these guys are stoned beyond comprehension, to the point where most of their dialog could be paraphrased as "eh? Both of these events are dimly visible in the background; the foreground is occupied by Duke and Gonzo, staggering through increasingly hazy days.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

One of Duke's most incisive interviews is with the maid who arrives to clean the room he's trashed: "You must know what's going on in this hotel! What do you think's going on? He plays Duke in disguise, behind strange hats, big shades, and the ever-present cigarette holder. The decision to ital always unital use the cigarette holder was no doubt inspired by the Duke character in the comic strip, who invariably has one--but a prop in a comic is not the same thing as a prop in the movie, and here it becomes not only an affection but a handicap: Duke isn't easy to understand at the best of times, and talking through clenched teeth doesn't help.

That may explain the narration, in which Duke comments on events that are apparently incomprehensible to himself on screen. The movie goes on and on, repeating the same setup and the same payoff: Duke and Gonzo take drugs, stagger into new situations, blunder, fall about, wreak havoc, and retreat to their hotel suite.

An Analysis of the American Dream and Drugs in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas | Kibin

The movie itself has an alcoholic and addict mind-set, in which there is no ability to step outside the need to use and the attempt to function. If you encountered characters like this on an elevator, you'd push a button and get off at the next floor. Here the elevator is trapped between floors for minutes.

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The movie's original director was Alex Cox , whose brilliant " Sid and Nancy " showed insight into the world of addiction. Maybe too much insight; he was replaced by Terry Gilliam " Brazil ," " Time Bandits " , whose input is hard to gauge; this is not his proudest moment. Who was the driving force behind the project? Maybe Depp, who doesn't look unlike the young Hunter Thompson but can't communicate the genius beneath the madness. Thompson may have plowed through Vegas like a madman, but he wrote about his experiences later, in a state which for him approached sobriety.

Fear and Loathing vs. on the Road

He often advises Duke to engage in reckless acts, prefacing such advice with the phrase, "as your attorney. Gonzo is an agent of chaos in his own right. He often lashes out violently at Duke and at others who happen across his path, finding them threatening. He is sexually aggressive toward a waitress and creates a serious potential legal problem by giving drugs to a young woman and having sex with her under the influence, yet he is disgusted by some of Duke's more extreme suggestions.

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Click to copy. Gonzo Dr.