Joaquin Phoenix is a perpetually stoned hippy who is asked by his ex-girlfriend to assist her in the kidnapping of her new boyfriend, in order to get him into a home for the mentally ill, so his business empire is disbanded. And that’s the heavily abridged version of the happenings.
As you could have already guessed, at times Inherent Vice can be a little difficult to follow, due to the sheer number of characters and plotlines. But once you get into the rhythm of it all and you’ve met all of the many characters, you should be alright.
If, like me, you watched the trailer and thought “wow, that looks really fast paced and crazy”, you may be in for a disappointment because it isn’t fast paced, and only half as crazy as it says it will be. For what is probably classed as a romp, it’s actually surprisingly slow and long. It feels more like a thriller, only a comic one, like a thromedy. No, that’s awful, forget I ever said that.
As always Joaquin Phoenix is fantastic, and often very funny. Josh Brolin as the hippy hating corrupt cop is pretty funny as well. And generally all of the performances are fantastic, even the little roles like Benicio Del Toro or Jena Malone are brilliant. It’s also beautifully shot, and the costumes are American Hustle level good, as is the soundtrack. However, the film does drag quite a bit at times, especially during the opening half hour.
Overall, it’s a fantastically well-made piece of work that ends up as a case of style over substance, however that style is absolutely brilliant so it’s still quite an enjoyable watch. It’s not a must-see, but it’s definitely worth a watch.