Inherent Vice is about Larry “Doc” Sportello, a drug-fueled Los Angeles detective in the 1970’s who investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.
My first impressions after watching this film was that it was way to long for its own good. It wasn’t helped by a frustratingly complicated plot. The trailer made it seem like a quirky and original piece set in the ‘70s with a well known cast and director, but it failed to gain my full attention throughout the almost excruciatingly long running time.
I am a fan of a few pieces of Paul Thomas Anderson’s work (Boogie Nights andThere Will Be Blood to name a few), but his last two films that include 2012’s The Master and this years Inherent Vice, he hasn’t successfully achieved the magic he managed to capture in many of his previous films. More recently, they have tended to be more strange then insightful. Inherent Vice may please some fans and from what I’ve researched, stayed quite close to the novel – although I haven’t read it (and after seeing the film, I don’t intend to). It is definitely one of his weaker films to date.
The film has lots on its mind but hardly has a clear thought. I finished the film a few hours ago and trying to still find some sort of resolution or even what the film was trying to say.
When Josh Brolin was trying to order the pancakes in a Japanese restaurant in a mocking tone, I felt it was slightly racist and not in the bit funny. I remember watching that scene when it came through on the trailer in the cinemas one day and a few audience member’s laughed around me. Maybe it was the different interpretations or I just didn’t get the joke but for me, it was a little racist.
By the end of the film, I was glad it was over because I had absolutely no idea what was going on in the film and wish I could have my 2 ½ hours back.