Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest movie, takes us to LA in the late sixties. You know, when hippies reeked of patchouli and said things like ‘groovy’. It’s the first ever adaptation of one of Thomas Pynchon’s novels, which up until now were considered to be unadaptable to the silver screen.
The mayhem starts when private eye Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) finds himself reunited with his ex, who tells him about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend she’s in love with and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap said billionaire land developer boyfriend and stick him in the loony bin.
Sounds pretty straight forward so far, right? Well, it’s anything but, especially when you throw in a missing heroin junkie, an ex-convict with a swastika tattoo, a mysterious club called The Golden Fang and a plot that also includes marine-based heroin cartels, coked-out dentists and celebrity cops. That’s when you end up with a movie where the plot is as hazy as a cloud of bong smoke.
Trying to grasp all the different details and mold them into one coherent story might be next to impossible, but the movie is funny and absurd enough to forgive the fact that not every question will have come with an answer by the time the end credits start rolling. Throw in a badass soundtrack and excellent performances by Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro and you’ve got yourself another solid movie by the one and only PTA.