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Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

An entertaining, if hagiographic portrait
By PETER KEOUGH  |  July 1, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
gonzoINSIDE.jpg

Where are the gonzo journalists of yesteryear? Is such a style possible at a time when reality transcends the wackiest drug-addled parody? Hunter S. Thompson didn’t stick around to find out, shooting himself in 2005. But as Alex Gibney’s entertaining if hagiographic portrait suggests, he wasn’t around much anyway after he blew off the Muhammad Ali–George Foreman fight in 1974. His writing thereafter, notes his Rolling Stone editor, Jann Wenner, grew repetitive, and he became a victim of his own image. Before then, however, as Gibney shows in rare footage of Thompson (on What’s My Line? in 1966!) and talking-head interviews ranging from Pat Buchanan to former Hells Angels’ leader Sonny Barger, the output — including at least one great book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — was era-defining and inimitable. Sad to say, Thompson’s legacy seems to be the gonzo preference for ideology and fantasy over facts in journalism and politics. Maybe that’s why he pulled the trigger. 118 minutes | Kendall Square

Related: Where has all the Gonzo gone?, Cheer on the cheap, Fear and loathing, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, Patrick Buchanan, Hunter S. Thompson,  More more >
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