Inherent Vice

Jays Rating:
Actors: /

Boasting an award winning ensemble cast, the comedy-mystery film Inherent Vice based on the 2009 novel written by Thomas Tynthom, is more of a crime drama that takes place in the late 60’s. Private eye Larry “Doc” Stortello (Joaquin Phoenix) is surprised when his ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay Hetworth (Katherine Waterston) shows up at his house and tells him about her kidnapping plan. It seems like she’s planning to abduct her billionaire boyfriend, Mickey Wolfmann (Eric Roberts) with the help of his wife and his wife’s boyfriend. (As I was watching this, I was wondering if anybody is faithful in these relationships.) Doc shares the plan with his friend Lt. Christian “Big Foot” Bjornsen (Josh Brolin) who is a detective in the Los Angeles police department. In the meantime, Shasta Fay disappears herself. As if Doc doesn’t have enough to do, he takes on a case about a presumed dead musician played by Owen Wilson. He’s also involved with other unusual characters like a dentist on cocaine played by Martin Short and the assistant DA played by Reese Witherspoon. As much as this film has going for it like the colorful characters, the outstanding actors, the costumes and sets from the 70’s – which I couldn’t see – I had a hard time staying in my seat. (As if I had a choice.) Some audience members in the theater didn’t have the same restrictions I had and still left halfway through and even before. The film felt like it was on some sort of mood altering chemical just like half of the characters that were on drugs. It seemed out of focus with sub-plots wandering all over the place and a story that is mired in ridiculous twists. Its 2 hours and 45 minutes long and being stuck in my seat made me wish for a beeper at the exit door. Did I mention the music was original but weird – which didn’t help in the audio department. With all of this disappointment, there were some flashes of high quality cinema, but they are overshadowed by the confusing story. I’m giving this strange film a C- rating.

This movie has been given an R rating by the MPAA