ByAlex Lee Ratner, writer at

No, no, and no! If there is any one film of the year that sheds absolute nonsense into the light of the average moviegoer, 'Inherent Vice' is that film. If you can even call it that.

Amazingly, it manages to boast a big-name cast to fill its story. Joaquin Phoenix, in his most off-putting and nonsensical role ever stars as "Doc" Sportello, a private-investigator hippie who can't get his act together, but somehow becomes involved in a string of plotlines and never-ending story twists. Seriously, there's not much drive to the story aside from that.

What Phoenix, who is usually quite good, is doing here is not clear. Nor is its very talented cast like Reese Witherspoon (her and Phoenix were MUCH better together in 'Walk The Line'), Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Eric Roberts, Owen Wilson and others. Director Paul Thomas Anderson could not even muster to make this film (based on the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name) stand alone amongst his own previous work.

Remember his two great films 'Boogie Nights' and 'There Will Be Blood?' Well, he's a long way from greatness here. It was actually one of the rare times I wanted to leave early just so I could alleviate the headache I endured. Although, the audience that I was viewing it with seemed to love it. But even with all the bungled plotlines, he doesn't just end the film on a decent basis or regular running time. He makes it nearly three hours long with no logical closure point!

The multi-character dynamic that 'Vice' tries to pull off is reprehensible. The actors are only in it for the paycheck, yet that all seem to be having fun. This becomes an even bigger mystery than the story itself.

At best, it at least offers some slightly interesting colors and artwork used in the film. But it's almost a complete sham and a waste. Nothing has ever felt this overly complex and repetitive in recent memory.

By the time we get to a scene involving a doctor (Martin Short) who goes on an almost instant drug-binge, the film is gone, never to come back. We then have an hour or so left. But of course we do. It wouldn't be the most inane film of the year if they didn't have the drive to make it that way. By the time it's over, it's a time to rejoice.

'Inherent Vice' is not only the worst film of the year, but it's also the most ridiculous one. A rare time where a film might have done more damage to Phoenix than his acting hoax from a few years back. Let's hope not.



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