Movie Review: Gonzo: HST on the Screen

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008)

Rated R for drug and sexual content, language and some nudity.

Not to mention a few subversive themes, some seriously whacked out thoughts and a cultural revolution that failed….mostly.

Overall I really enjoyed the re-mix/documentary. It’s not like HST hasn’t been covered before in film. Heck, Bill Murray covered him in 1980, and there’s Johnny Depps now evidently spastic portrayal of Thompson in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. So he is no stranger to the film (or even comic book treatment) and as such has officially reached cultural icon status. This status was further cemented with his totally predicted and threatened for 20+ year suicide. When your son calls your suicide a touching family moment, you know you’re talking about a special breed of cat.

Ultimately the thing I found most worthwhile about the documentary was the live footage of Hunter doing his thing. It does, quite obviously, expose Depp’s portrayal a wee bit over the top. Thompson, the man, kept most of his meltdowns on the inside and the fact that most people felt he could hold his drugs like no other makes the floppy and stumbling performance of Depp seem overly comical.

He most certainly was a victim of his own success and his story demonstrates how difficult it is to stay consistent as an outsider when the first signs of success quickly propel one to the center of the circle. When one’s main gift is to tear apart the system from the outside, once one is firmly implanted in the middle, there’s naught left to do but party.

Which he did. Until he died.

—-

Rating : 7.8 out of 10 for documentaries. It was a bit slow at times, although that could have been my fault. In a strange twist of fate, this was the first movie I saw with mind unaltered in years.

—-

Trailer

2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Gonzo: HST on the Screen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s