Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (Alex Gibney) 2008

I am ashamed to say I have never read anything by Hunter Thompson seeing as how his style of writing and troublemaking seems right up my alley.  But until that time which I can find time to read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I have to settle for this documentary.  Let’s get this out of the way: Gonzo is an alright documentary.  No documentary can ever be extensive enough to cover all the bases so you just have to accept the fact this only covers a few aspects of Hunter Thompsons’s life.  Now that being said, there are flaws with this program.  The worst of these issues is that it seems like everyone is glossing over Thompson’s bad traits.  Many of those interviewed are his best friends, and they talk as if they are at his funeral.  When they talk they are reminiscent and cheerful, and seem to be straying from bad topics for fear of being in bad taste like tap dancing on his grave.  Let’s get this straight: Thompson’s heavy drug use (while influential in his writing) also made him dangerous to himself and others.  But everyone just seems to have this “Oh, that was just our lovable Hunter!” attitude.  Even his first wife seems to gloss over the fact he was f*cking around constantly with other women as well as being scared of being killed by him when she brought up the divorce.  I’m not saying we have to bash the man, but we have to accept his faults as well as his genius.  I mean, I love Jack Kerouac but that does not mean he was not one seriously f*cked up individual.  Also, if you’re going to talk about Fear and Loathing the book, then talk about the actual book and don’t just show clips of the movie.  Again, this was an alright movie, but it is by no means a complete look at Hunter Thompson.  Not even close.

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