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Non-Review Review: Inherent Vice

In many ways, Inherent Vice resembles its central character – former-hippie-turned-private-investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello.

Inherent Vice is prone to ramble and meander, stumbling across its central conspiracies as much by fate as by actual investigation. The logic is fuzzy, but the genius is clear. Navigating a complex web of seventies paranoia, it often seems as if Inherent Vice is playing a game of free association between its themes, stumbling upon some higher meta-physical plane where all the evils of the world (or, at least, Los Angeles) are connected by threads almost imperceptible.

Bad trip...

Bad trip…

Both Inherent Vice and Doc are hooked on their own particular drugs. Over the course of Inherent Vice, Doc makes it quite clear that heroine is just about the only dope he won’t take into his body. Inherent Vice itself is drawn the delightfully trippy far-out prose of Thomas Pynchon, with Paul Thomas Anderson’s script pausing intermittently to dump large quantities of existential musing on to the market. If Pynchon’s prose didn’t flow eloquently from actresses like Katherine Waterston and Jeannie Berlin, the audience might complain.

Running almost two-and-a-half hours, Inherent Vice is more than a little indulgent. Luckily, it is more than a little brilliant as well.

Lawyer up...

Lawyer up…

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