If there was a “pitch meeting”, where somebody was supposed to sum up a proposed film in just a few words, Inherent Vice might have been described as “Jeff Spicoli becomes Sam Spade”. That isn’t a good thing.
We watched this movie on DVD. Gail was paying attention and I was writing a blog post, and neither of us had much idea of what was going on. It is disjointed, fuzzy and hard to hear. The plot is convoluted and messy. The characters are simple minded and messy.
Inherent Vice gets a 69 on the tomatometer, the measure of critics opinions. Reading the reviews, it seems like I’m not supposed to care about the incoherent storytelling and just feel the vibe. Just because the movie is set in the 70’s doesn’t mean I intend to return to the hippie days. I lived through them once, that’s enough for me.
Joaquin Phoenix does his usual great job of submerging himself into a character; I just don’t like the role. James Brolin is wonderful as the corrupt cop, but I’m not much interested in corrupt cops these days.
Final opinion: that’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back. Glad I wasn’t paying much attention.