“Inherent Vice” –  a Dream Cast Wanders in and out of Sewage Town

Joaquin Phoenix as drug-addled detective in the moldering twilight of the hippie era?  And in Los Angeles, no less.  I’m there, man.  This is starting out like “Chinatown” crossed with “The Long Goodbye.” And all the coolest actors are turning up in odd little roles.  Right on!

But wait a minute.  Something is wrong here.  This movie really sucks. Phoenix looks like the LSD love child of Wolverine and Doug Kershaw.  And he sounds ever worse. In fact, I can’t understand a damn thing he’s saying.  And I don’t have any idea what the hell is going on.  What kind of case is he investigating anyway?

It feels like l’ve been watching for this thing for hours, but my timer says only 30 minutes have passed. That leaves two hours to go.  What a grind.  I usually love this kind of hard-ass crime shit, but…wait a minute, there’s Eric Roberts, the Pope of Greenwich Village, his face almost normal after getting so messed up in the crash.  Haven’t seen  him in a while, but now he’s gone and we are still here in Sewer Town, craving some sweet sleaze to pick things up.

And when we get it, we don’t want to see it.  Like those damn slasher movies where we wait and wait for the gore and when it comes we close our eyes.  What’s the point in watching crap like this anyway?

I’ve heard snappier dialog in a porno movie.  And the cinematography is all big heads swinging across the  screen in close-up.   Who wrote this garbage?  And where is the director?  Gone to Florida on vacation?

At last, the credits roll.  Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Isn’t he the who that everybody hated when he made halfway-decent movies like “Magnolia” and “Punch Drunk Love,” then adored and called a genius when he made that horrible bastard out of the Upton Sinclair novel about oil?  Well, he is still sucking oil.  I wonder what they are saying about him now..

Oh, and he wrote the script for “Inherent Vice” from something by Thomas Pynchon, another guy who has plenty of admirers, but personally I have never been able to finish anything he wrote.

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