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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

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Depp captivated viewers as Raoul Duke—a version of long-time Gonzo journalist pal Hunter S. Thompson.  Raoul and his lawyer head out to Las Vegas with enough drugs to kill a small militia.  They see animals, lights, people, and colors that aren’t there.  As the Duke staggers and stumbles around Sin City, Depp disappears into the role of a drug-addled, balding man he knows all too well.  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a prime example of Depp being the perfect actor for every role he accepts.  He’s an actor who plays to his strengths, and in Terry Gilliam’s 1997 film, the actor shows no apparent weakness in his craft.  It takes dedication and strict attention to detail to keep a cigarette in one’s mouth for every shot. Quirky, yes. Simple, no.  Depp later revisited a Thompson-based character for 2011’s The Rum Diary.

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