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The Story follows Doc (Joaqin Phoenix), a hippy PI, whose life gets flip turned upside down when an ex reappears and sets him on the trail of a seemingly vast conspiracy. Along the way he deals with rehab cults, druggy dentists, Nazis and Josh Brolin as a batshit hilarious cop with a hatred of counter culture. The setting is California in 1970. If the high watermark speech from Fear and Loathing was about wistfully looking back at 60’s ideals after they’d unravelled, this story takes place at the splash; the point of everything going tits up that would leave a stain for Hunter S Thompson to get all teary about later.
It’s also worth mentioning just how good the whole thing looks. Much of it was shot on old gear to give an authentic 70’s feel to the images, which themselves are often brilliant and surprising. Doc lying in the desert foreground with a row of Lilliputian cops behind him is one image that lingers as well as being reminiscent of the opening of The Master.