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Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas An Essay

Essay by   •  October 28, 2010  •  729 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,123 Views

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The story begins abruptly, as we find our mock heroes out in the desert en route to the savvy resort of Las Vegas. The author uses a tense hitchhiker as a mode, or an excuse, for a flashback that exposes the plot. An uncertain character picked up in the middle of the desert who Raoul Duke, the main character, feels the need to explain things to, to help him rest easy. They had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers....Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw either, and two dozen amyls. They were on assignment from a fashionable sporting magazine in New York, to cover the 4th Annual "Mint 400" dirt bike and dune buggy race. A savage journey to the heart of the American dream.

Before one can review the motion picture "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", he must first research the full length novel of the same name. The book first appeared in 1971 in issues 95 and 96 of Rolling Stone magazine, published November 11th and 25th respectively. Although the two part series stated its author was someone called Raoul Duke, the story was copyrighted in 1971 by Hunter S. Thompson. Raoul Duke is actually the false name under which Hunter Thompson portrays himself as main character and narrator.

The film was produced in the early goings of summer in 1998 almost as a tribute to the re-release of the novel in June. Directed by Monty Python's Flying Circus animator Terry Gilliam [12 Monkeys], the film was received quite poorly in the box office and even by the counterculture which was its target audience. Not even an impressive list of cameo appearances could salvage box office respect. This list featured Cameron Diaz, Cristina Ricci, Gary Busey, Lyle Lovett, Verne Troyer ["Minime" from Austin Powers], Penn Jillette [of Penn and Teller], Michael Jeter, and Flea [Red Hot Chilli Peppers]. Contrary to other book-to-screen translations such as Jurassic Park, where the entire plot line was compromised, the film of Fear and Loathing does the book justice and, occasionally, reads straight from the novel itself. Starring Johnny Depp [as Duke] and Benico Del Toro [Dr. Gonzo, Duke's attorney and confidant], the film has to be the best account of what the early seventies in the western United States were like despite Thompson's own denouncement saying "no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive

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