REVIEW: “INHERENT VICE” (2014) Warner Bros.

inher vice
Okay..I’m going to guess some people will be a bit surprised to say the least by this review as I don’t think it possible that there was anyone who was more looking forward to this film than I. Starting with the fact that it’s a Paul Thomas Anderson written & directed by film and I’m a big fan of almost all his previous pics. Then there is the cast..Joaquin, Benicio, Josh, Reese, Eric..even Owen. And then there is the trailer and when it got released I was almost drooling to see this film. And then I got invited to a screening..even MORE excited. And then the day came and I got to go see it!!! And that’s when the letdown began. :/
Inherent-Vice 1
Joaquin Phoenix is “Doc” Sportello, a drug-addled hippie private eye or ‘private dick’ as they call it in 1970, who is sniffing out the disappearances of his old flame, “Shasta Fay Hepworth” (Katherine Waterston), and her sugar daddy, billionaire real-estate magnate “Mickey Wolfmann” (Eric Roberts) in 1970’s Los Angeles. What Doc discovers is an underworld complete with a religious cult, a tax shelter and the Aryan Brotherhood. Far out, yes..indeed it is. Inher vice 2

Josh Brolin is the civil-rights-violating Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Detective “Bigfoot” Bjornsen ~ who deep throats frozen bananas as if he’s Linda Lovelace. Along with Maya Rudolph “Petunia Leeway“, “Sauncho Smilax, Esq.” aka Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson as “Coy Harlington”, Reese Witherspoon as Doc’s Deputy D.A. girlfriend, “Penny Kimball”, Elaine Tan, with an extremely awful nails~on~chalkboard squeaky voiced character named “Xandra”, and Martin Short as probably the only somewhat redeemingly, only teensy bit funny character,“Dr. Rudy Blatnoid D.D.S.” inher vice 3

The whole film is annoyingly narrated by the nasally voiced “Sortilege” (Joanna Newsom) who speaks in a lingo that I don’t think ever really existed thus making it even MORE ANNOYING..and yeah..sorry..just plain silly bordering on stupid.

I couldn’t help thinking the whole time I was watching that this film is trying so hard to have a field day with all the groovy slang it tries to pull off instead of..oh I don’t actual good comical storyline as it’s billed as ‘Comic Noir”, that it strikes as inauthentic. I’m sure most, including myself, probably expected this to be the next “Boogie Nights,” and yes, it features the most sexual innuendos, if nothing else, that Anderson has had since that 1997 breakout. But the film isn’t funny..and seems to just try too hard to be a bit Coen-esque is the only way I can think to describe it. inher vice 4

Now here’s the best part..hold on to your hats as yes, (screeches to a halt) I left after an hour 40 minutes or while I understood it was trying to tell a story and what it was, what I didn’t care about in any way shape or form, is about that story or how it ends. I didn’t give 2 shits about any character as most were just beyond the silly & ridiculous that I can sometimes find endearing and funny..but I didn’t. And I wasn’t the only one. It was a small screening and not only did my friend also want to leave..but about 5 other people did even earlier than us. I rarely am someone to do this btw..I can usually stick out just about anything, (the last time I couldn’t was Les Misérables after 2 long torturous hours). But with this film, the thought of having to stay another hour as yes, it’s 2 1/2 hrs long..was just not for me. Again, I just didn’t care. I know others will and I wish them the best. For me..nah. And yeah..sorry to all for harshing your mellow dude..but Cowabunga I guess!

Grade: D- (not a F)

*Note: Screening at Malibu Theatres, Sunday, December 7th, courtesy of Warner Bros. Film to be out in limited release December 12th; Nationwide on December 25th.
(See grading scale)


16 thoughts on “REVIEW: “INHERENT VICE” (2014) Warner Bros.”


    I’m excited for this one. Yet I am noticing that it is has been getting very mixed reviews even on Rotten Tomatoes. Shit, I better tone down my expectations!

  2. Such a great cast! How could they screw this up?! Nice review. I’ve never walked out of a movie (came close with Les Miserables). This one must be really bad.

    1. As noted, it’s not something I take lightly..I realize I did it once earlier this year with “Mood Indigo” also.. :/ But I think I’ve maybe done it 4-5 times in my life.. I think a lot had to do with the fact that I had been looking so forward to it.and then to be so disappointed..well it really made me sad. :/ but again, some seem to really like it..I’m guessing you either love it or hate it, don’t think there is much wiggle room on it. ha!

      1. Indeed. Its funny how I often don’t finish a DVD or a rental but I’ve never walked out of the film in the theater. Probably feels like a larger investment. Ha.

      2. Well it was a free screening..which doesn’t make it any better, and I felt bad even doing it..but I would have NEVER walked out had it been a Q & A session afterwards. As it was I drove 25mi to a small theatre in Malibu just so I could see it at a studio screening.. ah well.

    1. Please do.. I am hoping to see what someone else who was looking forward to it as much as I was..aka YOU!! 🙂 thinks.. I felt so bad and I came so close to actually putting an apology to you in my review because we were both just so excited to see it!!

  3. “Detective Bigfoot Bjornsen…deep throats frozen bananas as if he’s Linda Lovelace.”

    Ha ha. That reminds me of one of the few times I actually laughed while watching. But yeah, it was a disappointment for me too. Nice review!

  4. Finally saw this! Disagree, although I do see where you’re coming from with not caring about the characters. The first hour or so was really average for me; lots of exposition and conversations between characters followed up by more conversations. However, the second half of the movie had some truly wonderful scenes, and it won me over there. Martin Short was pretty funny too.

    1. yeah I knew we would never agree on this one for sure. I am glad to see another side of it and am glad you were able to make it through the whole film.. I think I too said Martin Short was about the best thing of the hour and 40min I saw of it… I am not sad I missed what happened yep..didn’t care! hahahahaha

  5. I know.. that’s what cracks me up!! hahahaha It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, and I STILL feel bummed about it! 😀 I think it was either you liked it or you didn’t.. no inbetween. Ah well..

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