Watch Gonzo

  • R
  • 2012
  • 22 hr
  • 7.6  (8,438)
  • 73

Gonzo is a documentary film that explores the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson, a renowned journalist, author, and cultural icon of the 20th century. Directed by Alex Gibney, the film features a mix of archival footage, interviews with Thompson's friends, family, and colleagues, and reenactments of his most famous moments, all intertwined with the narrative voiceover of Johnny Depp, who played Thompson in the movie adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

The film starts with a brief history of Thompson's upbringing in Louisville, Kentucky, and his early career as a writer for Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone. It quickly becomes apparent that Thompson was not content with the reporting standards of the time and set out to create a new style of journalism, one that mixed factual reporting with a subjective point of view, unconventional language, and a healthy dose of humor and cynicism.

As the film progresses, we see Thompson's personal life and political beliefs become more entwined with his work. He becomes increasingly involved in political activism, covering presidential campaigns and political rallies as well as writing scathing critiques of the Vietnam War and the Nixon administration. His drug use, which he never shied away from discussing, also becomes a central theme of the film, as it was often intertwined with his writing and personal relationships.

One of the most interesting aspects of Gonzo is how it portrays Thompson's relationship with the media and the public. On one hand, he was a beloved figure, considered a hero by many for his outspokenness and his ability to speak truth to power. On the other hand, he was often marginalized by mainstream media outlets and frequently misunderstood by those who sought to imitate his style without understanding his underlying philosophy. The film is quick to dispel many of the myths surrounding Thompson and his legacy, emphasizing his complexity and his humanity.

Throughout the movie, we see glimpses of Thompson's work, including excerpts from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Great Shark Hunt, and other books. These passages show how Thompson was able to use his unique writing style to capture the essence of American culture and politics in a way that was both accessible and engaging. They also demonstrate the breadth of his interests, as he tackled subjects ranging from sports to music to astrology.

Gonzo also does an excellent job of showcasing Thompson's personality and sense of humor. Interviews with his friends and family paint a picture of a man who was both fiercely intelligent and devilishly funny. His wit and charm are on full display in the reenactments of his various public appearances, like when he ran for sheriff of Aspen, Colorado, or when he appeared on David Letterman's show dressed in a white suit and hat.

Overall, Gonzo is a must-see for anyone interested in Hunter S. Thompson, American literature, or 20th-century culture and politics. It provides a deep dive into the life and work of one of the most fascinating figures of our time, offering both insight and entertainment in equal measure. The film is a fitting tribute to Thompson's legacy, capturing his spirit and his voice in a way that feels authentic and honest.

Gonzo is a 2012 documentary with a runtime of 22 hours. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 73.

Where to Watch Gonzo
Gonzo is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Gonzo for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    22 hr
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (8,438)
  • Metascore