Mike is sick of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON

'Dr' Hunter S. Thompson, one of the most fascinating and exciting figures journalism has ever seen. His intensely personal style, rife with hyperbole and excess, has been hugely influential and made him a massive cult figure. His insane lifestyle spawned the cult hit move FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, spawned by the revolutionary cult book of the same name and starring superstar cult figure Johnny Depp. And I'm sick of the bastard. Don't get me wrong, I have read 'Fear and Loathing' and I'm a big fan of the man. What's more I think he is both important and interesting enough to have a documentary made about him. But he is so overhyped that anybody who talks about him can't do so without squeaking and squawking and raving incoherently. GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON is exactly such squawking, and it goes on for two whole hours. Nonetheless, like MAMMA MIA and its guaranteed hoard of middle-aged nostalgia monkies this is one of those loathsome critic-proof movies that will be a success no matter what anyone says. Hunter S. Thompson has enough of a myth behind him to draw stoners and quasi-revolutionaries from every middle-class neighbourhood in the Western world. What's more, the distributors (Optimum in the UK) must know it. But for those of you who aren't already screaming at your poor innocent computer screens in rabid objection to my negativity, this is why this film sucks: Firstly, it is a slow, boring and uninspiring example of storytelling. The narrative rambles through the timeline of a man's life with little to add to it other than the shots of the funeral (the Dr had his ashes shot out of a cannon - awesome) which provided some merciful justification for the prior 115 minutes. Secondly, large chunks of the film are narrated by Johnny Depp or told with clips from FEAR AND LOATHING and that other film about Hunter S. Thompson that was so shit I can barely remember it. If I wanted to watch these movies I would, why should we all pay to watch clips of them that pad out an already far too long movie?? Thirdly, the movie is based around what is supposed to be an exceptional life and yet it vacillates between portraying a man at the vanguard of indignant 60s society and an ordinary, opinionated guy caught up in the flow of it all. A documentary that is this indecisive smacks of complacency and suggests to me that director Alex Gibney was more concerned with churning out snippets of stuff he thought were cool than with making a good documentary. This movie has confirmed my suspicion that people need to leave Hunter S. Thompson's story alone for a while. He's become too cool, too much of a hollow symbol of everything that is glossy and edgy. Now it's time to think and take stock before ploughing in with a new and better considered perspective on a man whose literary influence is as intriguing as it is important. The bottom line: if you really are a big fan, you'll enjoy this movie. There are lots of nice moments and many of the snippets genuinely are cool. If you like good documentaries you'll hate this movie, it's long, rambling and surprisingly dull for a subject so exciting. Either way, it'll make money. GONZO: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DR. HUNTER THOMPSON will be in U.K. theatres from Dec. 19th and is playing at the U.S. Sundance Film Festival in January.

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Michael Edwards hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.

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