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|Index||55 reviews in total|
This movie misses its mark. Awful direction helps most jokes fall flat
on their faces. It's meant to be a lightweight, enjoyable, accessible
movie one can just kick back to, but instead is a mishmash of ideas,
characterisation and egos vying for stardom. There are some great ideas
here - Hunter Thompson provides great subject matter for Murray - yet
the execution is lackluster relegating the film to be untimately only
for fans of Murray.
GRADE: C-, but not in an Ed Wood film kinda way. Its a lesser movie than one of them because it tries and so failing after that is in many ways much much worse.
May I just make a comment that well no crap, visually "Fear and Loathing..." was more extravagant (so to say)... But "Where the Buffalo Roam" with Bill Murray portrayed Thompson in a far more realistic light. And also note that it was done in 1980, no HD TV, nor is there any product of digital work. I mean, think about other movies that are taken from works or even screenplays by writers of that generation and style (Naked Lunch, Bar Fly, etc)- all are far drabber than any of the movies that come out these days, but they are still fabulous works of art. Can I also just point out that many movies with great visual work suck a**, can I say "Waterworld"? I rest my case.
Bill didn't come across anything like HST in his writings, but instead as Bill Murray. It's just the "Bill Murray show" with the name HST added to it. This also seemed true of the portrayal of Lazlo. If you ever have read Fear and Loathing and want to see something that tries to approximate the book, get the Johnny Depp movie. If you watch this one, be aware that it uses HST's writings as a plot device for it's own intentions.
I love Bill Murray and Peter Boyle as much as the next, but how they got mixed up in this must be a story in and of itself. A big sprawling messy glop of a film, it's still worth seeing, and maybe in tandem with the Terry Gilliam film. This one has a better cast and better actors, that one has much better camera work, they are BOTH kind of disasters.
It would be nice to be able to say that this film suffers in comparison
to Terry Gilliam's brilliant adaptation of 'Fear & Loathing In Las
Vegas', but it wouldn't be accurate. 'Where The Buffalo Roam' just
isn't any good. It's not funny enough to be a comedy, it doesn't seem
to have any point to make & so doesn't work as satire, & it completely
fails to convey the insane, savage & hilarious spirit of Hunter S
Bill Murray, while doing a pretty good impersonation of Thompson's voice & more pronounced mannerisms, really just acts like Bill Murray with a cigarette holder sticking out of his mouth for the whole film. The angry, driven, borderline psychotic journalist is nowhere to be found in this film, just a kind of goofy idiot that makes you wonder why anyone would bother to make a movie about him, or why anyone would read any of his writing.
Peter Boyle as attorney 'Carl Lazlo', a character better known as Dr Gonzo in Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, or as Oscar Zeta Acosta in real life, is completely & utterly miscast. The real-life attorney was a fighter for human rights in the Chicano community who hung out on the fringes of the law, the fictionalised Dr Gonzo of Thompson's writing was a far more dangerous, drug-crazed, perverted degenerate. 'Lazlo' is neither, just a dull, pathetic fool who thinks shouting his head off in court might achieve something, runs off to hang out with arms dealers, then turns up again with some idea about starting his own country in the desert.
There is no plot to speak of, just a loose collection of scenes that happen to include these two characters in some way, none of which go anywhere at all. Thompson watching Lazlo in court, Lazlo turning up again at the Super Bowl & dragging Thompson off to his ranch, & finally Thompson covering the 1972 presidential campaign & Lazlo popping up again with a dumb idea. Then the movie ends. No mention of the real-life events which would actually have made a good story - Nixon's victory, followed by Watergate, or Oscar Acosta's mysterious disappearance - just the end of the film. It's not even an anti-climax, which is often how Hunter S Thompson ends his stories, to give them a realistic, bittersweet edge, it's just the end. Nothing of any real interest has happened & the film's over.
I can't really recommend this film to anyone. If you're not a Thompson fan, there's no reason to see it, & if you are, you'll just be disappointed.
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