It’s not Bill Murray’s fault.
Bill Murray is a good Hunter S. Thompson. He’s got the weird cadence down. The walk, the talk, the nuttiness. Murray reportedly spent time hanging out with Thompson to pick up his mannerisms, some of which he seemed to hang onto long after the movie was done. Personally, I prefer Johnny Depp’s performance, but that’s not a knock on Bill Murray’s version.
It’s not Peter Boyle’s fault either. His portrayal of Carl Lazlo/Dr. Gonzo/Oscar Zeta Acosta/The Brown Buffalo was spot on, although less fun to watch than Benicio Del Toro’s. Boyle’s Carl Lazlo was a renegade. He was nuts, but he was trying to change the world. Del Toro’s Dr. Gonzo was just fucking nuts. They’re not really even the same character in my humble opinion.
I guess that means it’s the director’s fault. Or maybe it’s the writer’s fault? Either way, the film just jumped around too much and it was hard to figure out what was going on. It was just a series of vignettes strung together and they didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know about Thompson. He did a lot of drugs and hated Nixon. That’s barely a newsflash.
It’s a must-see for Thompson fans, but most others will find Where the Buffalo Roam to be boring and confusing.