Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon
Runtime: 148 minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated R for drug use throughout, sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some violence (mostly drug use, a whole lot of drug use)
Set in sunny Los Angeles, California in the 1970’s, “Inherent Vice” tells the story of Doc (played by Joaquin Phoenix), a
constantly doped up private detective (not actually a real doctor, at least probably not) who’s set up shop in a medical office (hence the name Doc?). Doc unexpectedly finds himself amidst illegal activity, police corruption, and general bizarre activity after a visit from his ex-girlfriend Shasta.
Shasta tells Doc about her new boyfriend, Mickey, a billionaire real estate developer. Shasta asks Doc to help prevent a plot by Mickey’s wife to have have Mickey abducted and put in an insane asylum. Lot’s of other things happen. There are drugs, characters come and go with little explanation, there’s drugs, paranoia abounds, and there are drugs.
I’m still not entirely sure about everything I saw, but it was entertaining, which is ultimately what matters. Joaquin Phoenix delivered a great performance for which he will likely earn an oscar nomination; however the incoherence of the plot does make it difficult to really care about any of the other characters.
It’s hard to convince people that the movie was enjoyable because, honestly, it’s hard to describe but I promise you this: in all of the confusion and disarray, you’ll find a pretty good movie that inspires laughs throughout. It’s the kind of weird that is oddly attractive – like PeopleOfWalmart.com or polka dancing.
Overall, on the It’s An Ordinary Blog movie review scale where one is the worst, five is the best, and ten is the worst again, I give “Inherent Vice” a 3.56623423
with an emoticon based sub-ranking of: “uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh, what?!”