Adapted from a novel by Thomas Pynchon with the same name, Inherent Vice is a stoner mystery/thriller set in the 70s directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Joaquin Phoenix plays the lead, private detective and stoner hippie Larry Sportello a.k.a “Doc” who got himself tangled in some serious shit when his ex lover Shasta suddenly showed up at his house one day.
Long-haired sandal wearing ex-heroin addict Doc meets a handful of equally strange and colorful characters as he goes on his journey to uncover the truth. In fact everyone he encounters seems to be a recovered/active heroin addict, and society are still traumatized with the Manson incident that causes police to do random checks on cars with three people or more cause they’re considered a cult. 70s problems.
Watching the movie is like reading one big mystery novel. Everything is so mysterious and vague, and if you’re not paying attention to the story-line you’d be lost within a sea of unique names that keeps on popping up one after another into the plot – that are all intertwined. Good luck with that. As someone who has never read Inherent Vice before, I really really opened up my eyes and ears and followed closely.
I did notice the frequent Asian reference though; blonde girl named Japonica, a zen garden imported straight from Tokyo inside an American rehabilitation center, an Asian massage parlor, and of course a syndicate under the name The Golden Fang, just to mention a few. Just a fun and random observation that made the movie even more fun.
Featuring a star studded cast of Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Maya Rudolph, and Martin Short. This movie makes for a nice date night movie if you and your partner has the same taste in humor.