WTBR is a semi-biographical account of Hunter Thompson (Bill Murray) from 1968-1972. With him on this journey is his lawyer, Carl Lazlo (Peter Boyle).
- “Carl Lazlo” talks to Thompson about his (Thompson’s) notoriety as Dr. Gonzo. No, that’s him. HST is Raoul Duke. HST is A doctor OF gonzo. Two extra syllables is all it would take to not fuck this up.
- “Fear and loathing” appears only as inartful graffiti on a wall in San Francisco. Maybe I missed something biographical about HST in San Francisco in the 1960s. Regardless, it was a clumsy, gratuitous placement, like the Diet Coke in Ghostbusters.
- “Gonzo” written on Mr. Harris (from “The Post”). This hate is a combo of the other two.
- the pretend red shark in the fountain
- a casual reference to Lazlo in Vegas before the ’72 Super Bowl.
- the hitchhiker bit. The one time I actually prefer Tobey Maguire over anyone else in the universe is here. That guy sucked, as did the bit.
so, for 30 years – I just never watched it again. It was “the bad one” about HST.
Thanks to DVRs. I took another taste of it. Same objections about the use of FaL:LV. I still hate Bill Murray as HST. It was Bill Murray doing HST, albeit very well; Depp WAS Thompson. The pacing is still slow and lumpy. The whole gunrunning bit slowed the story down pointlessly. And, I hated seeing Dr. Gonzo not as a dangerous loon, but as a pathetic, washed up hippy whose Wolfpack utopian commune idea was reduced to a dumb sight gag about the wind.
And yeah, all the silliness about “the candidate” (Nixon) and writing for “The Beast” (Rolling Stone)… lawsuits, I guess.
In four words: Didn’t hate so much.
In four more: Time to start digging.
How can you hate a movie with the money shot that is “Fuck The Doomed.” Maybe that ties together the death spiral of Lazlo (modeled after a real lawyer and activist who disappeared in 1974). I’m guessing that is what the title means, because HSTs obit for Acosta is titled “Fear and Loathing in the Graveyard of the Weird: The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat.” I just need to find an old Rolling Stone [Ed.: get Fear and loathing at Rolling Stone : the essential writing of Hunter S. Thompson from the library] to find out. So thanks, HST and Bill Murray. You’ve made me want to read for fun and knowledge. I’m on it.