2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Terry Gilliam’s 1998 film, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the drug-infused, aesthetically-driven film about Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo’s (Benicio Del Toro) trip to Las Vegas. Duke is a reporter covering the Mint 400 motorcycle race, and Dr. Gonzo, his attorney, accompanies him to Las Vegas.
Fear and Loathing pulls no punches and is a roller-coaster ride and crash course commentary on the depths of a drug trip. Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s roman a clef novel of the same name, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas may be difficult to comprehend, for what little plot there is gets overshadowed by a lizard orgy, and even a vision Duke has of a fiery battlefield (among other phantasms).
This is not a particularly refined, artistic showcase for Del Toro, but it is hard to make the argument that it was not fun to adapt Thompson’s novel to the screen. The film is considered “rotten” on the Tomatometer, although 90 percent of audiences rated it favorably. The consensus reads, “Visually creative, but also aimless, repetitive, and devoid of character development.”