Alex Gibney's documentary about bad boy journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is both a memorial exaltation and a lament. Gibney's masterful style balances verite and dramatic effect. He doesn't doesn't tell you what to think, but spurs you to think.
Gonzo is much more than a tribute to a maverick and genuine pioneer. It's a lament for the gaping hole that Thompson left behind. The only obvious weakness is Gibney's reluctance to engage fully with Thompson's toxic personal life.
This documentary about his life by Alex Gibney, though entertaining in many ways, is oddly uninterested in his strengths or otherwise as a writer, the very gift for which Thompson earnestly wished to be known.
Director Alex Gibney has plundered 200 hours of audiotapes, hundreds of photos and personal testimony from an impressive roster of Thompson's colleagues and family to put together an even-handed portrait.
A straight-line journey through the good doctor's loopy myth and madness, but one that doesn't push far enough into uncharted territory. Fine as a primer, but Gibney leans more towards admiration than examination.
Gibney says the film took so much out of him that he limped into the Sundance Festival with a ruptured disc, a green liver and spots in his eyes that will not disappear. I hope he now thinks it worth the trouble. I'm pretty sure watchers will.