Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film

Starz Entertainment

This facile but heartfelt documentary on Hunter S. Thompson, the Louisville-born writer who created gonzo journalism, symbolized anti-authoritarianism for several generations, and fashioned a literary salon/shooting range out of his Colorado ranch, was made a year after his 2005 suicide. Director Tom Thurman assembles an impressive collection of Thompson’s colleagues, friends and assorted great American flakes, among them Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Tom Wolfe, and Harry Dean Stanton. Their testimonials are loving and genuine, but a little too hagiographic to penetrate emotionally. Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride debuted on Starz, which may explain why nearly a third of the running time is devoted to the two deficient Thompson films, Where the Buffalo Roam and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.