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‘Inherent Vice’: First Reactions

'Inherent Vice': First Reactions

We may have skipped out on the trailer, but that doesn’t mean we’re not curious what people think of Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice,” which had its first screening for rain-sodden press in New York this morning. Most reviews are embargoed until tonight, but here’s what critics had to say on Twitter about the movie — and the line.

Robbie Collin, Telegraph

Anderson has named the gag-a-minute Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker comedies, such as Airplane! and The Naked Gun, as models for Inherent Vice’s comic rhythm, but while the jokes tumble past at a similar rate – a drug-fuelled car chase sequence involving Martin Short’s unhinged dentist is yelp-out-loud funny – the result isn’t entertainment so much as blissed-out bamboozlement. Underneath the crackpot humor, there’s something else at work; a deep-seated ache of nostalgia for a time when films were allowed to look, sound and move like this, that will surely come into sharper focus on a second viewing, when you aren’t so preoccupied with wolfing down the spaghetti tangle of the plot. What’s clear from a bleary initial encounter, though, is that the film is stupendous: as antic as “Boogie Nights” and “Punch-Drunk Love,” but with “The Master” and “There Will Be Blood’s” uncanny feel for the swell and ebb of history.

Stephen Holden, New York Times:

The movie creates a surreal vision of a bygone Southern California dense with smog and reeking of marijuana, when every street seemed to have its own massage parlor. The atmosphere is so steeped in vintage psychedelia that it is impossible to distinguish reality from fantasy; it could all be a dream. The best approach to “Inherent Vice” is not to look for profundity but to lie back, inhale imaginary clouds of secondhand pot smoke, and go with the flow of a yarn so amusingly convoluted it makes “The Big Sleep” feel like children’s bedtime reading.

And on Twitter:

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