Inherent Vice (Trailer Review)

In Los Angeles in 1970, drug-fueled detective Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

At long, glorious last the trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice has pulled up and parked just in time for its premiere at the New York Film Festival. It was easily my most anticipated film of the year and I'm sure it is for many of you. The trailer is fantastic (not that I thought it would be anything less) and the film looks to be an instant classic (again, not that I thought it would be anything less).

The trailer employs narration by Jenna Newsom who fills us in on the complicated scenario and cast of characters rotating around it. This is followed up with a lovely supercut of questions and answers throughout the film that tell us Doc (Joaquin Phoenix) is going to be doing an awful lot of gumshoeing to figure out what became of his ex. Doc seems to encounter one colorful personality after another and it's not until the roll call (in that tubular neon light font) that we remember just how many big names are involved in this picture, most of whom Anderson has never worked with before.

There's no indication of where the twisting plot is going to lead us or anything that feels like a significant reveal. For that alone it's a well cut trailer, to say nothing of the artistry (in of itself) that's on display. There's a playful rhythm created just from the clips themselves. Throwing in Sly & the Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher" and Sam Cooke's "What a Wonderful World" (two era appropriate tunes that tell us we're in for another great '70s mix-tape soundtrack this year) bring the piece to another level.

Anderson is unpredictable. While his films have always offered moments of humor (infrequent and black as oil in the case of There Will Be Blood), this looks to be his silliest film to date. This was suspected and reported, but after getting this preview that's pretty much confirmed. It seems to land somewhere between Punch-Drunk Love and Boogie Nights on his tonal spectrum, but I even felt like I was watching a Wes Anderson trailer at times. Josh Brolin order pancakes in a Japanese diner is the most amusing thing I've seen in a while.

This was cut by trailer house Aspect Ratio and they did a phenomenal job. This easily goes on the list for the best trailers of the year and we only have to wait a few more months before we see if the film lives up to it. As Newsom tells us at the end,"Coming just in time for Christmas." What do you make of the trailer for Inherent Vice? Leave your wisdom in the comments below.

Good luck, Doc.