If the hypnotically scattered first trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s stoner noir “Inherent Vice” left you a little dazed and confused, Warner Bros. latest preview should help clear some of the smoke surrounding the film’s meandering plot.
Based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon, “Inherent Vice” stars Joaquin Phoenix as private eye Doc Sportello, a bumbling stoner detective who gets pulled into a mysterious maze of 1970s Los Angeles crime after his ex-girlfriend shows up at his door needing his help. Much has been written over the execution and purpose of the film’s incomprehensible story since “Inherent Vice” premiered back at the New York Film Festival, but the new trailer starts to connect some of the plot pieces while still leaving the film’s peculiar tone enticingly ambiguous. Somewhat of a story appears here beneath the bursts of slapstick, verbal comedy and dangerous detective drama, but not enough to make everything click, which basically makes this preview another perfect tease for Anderson’s latest ensemble piece.
“Inherent Vice” also stars Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Katherine Waterston and Joanna Newsom. Warner Bros. will release the film in select theaters this Friday, December 12, before expanding the picture nationwide January 6.