In a fall cinematic slate of increasingly hyped up prestige pictures, few have piqued my interest more than Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. Today, Warner Bros. released the first trailer for the Thomas Pynchon adaptation, which stars a murderer’s row of A-list talent including Owen Wilson, Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Martin Short, Katherine Waterston, Jena Malone, and many more. The story centers on private detective Larry “Doc” Sportello who is tasked by a former flame with stopping a potential kidnapping of her billionaire boyfriend. Whereas The Master, which also starred Phoenix, was an often harrowing, mesmerizing film to watch, Inherent Vice looks like it’s going to be a pitch perfect period piece romp through the mean streets of Los Angeles with Joaquin Phoenix’s The Dude-meets-Wolverine decetive “Doc” Sportello trying to get out of his own way and do some actual police work.
Here’s the official synopsis:
“Inherent Vice” is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel. When private eye Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin…well, easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s being way too overused – except this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists… Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp – all Thomas Pynchon.”
Inherent Vice hits theaters in December, “just in time for Christmas.” Will you be seeing it? Sound off in the comments below.