A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is the high priest of Gonzo journalism, a reporting style in which the reporter throws himself wildly into the event he is reporting, so that in a way he becomes the event. Karl Lazlo (not his real name) was a Mexican-American attorney Thompson met in the late 1960s and immortalized in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a book in which, "speaking as your attorney," Lazlo regularly advised his client to ingest large quantities of booze, drugs and pills. The purpose: to ward off paranoia and insanity as the two engaged on a drunken odyssey through the craziness of the Vegas Strip.
The Vegas book was followed by Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, in which Thompson terrorized the 1972 presidential campaign as a correspondent for Rolling Stone. His mere presence was enough to cause terror in the hearts of advance men. The last appearance - or rather disappearance - of Lazlo in Thompson's writing is in "The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat," a 1976 Rolling Stone article in which the doctor speculates that his attorney has disappeared for good and been murdered.
"Where the Buffalo Roam" is a comedy inspired by the relationship between Thompson (Bill Murray) and Lazlo (Peter Boyle). The credits say it's "based on the twisted legend of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson." The doctor has become an American folk legend not only through his increasingly infrequent and incoherent Rolling Stone articles, but also through his frequent walk-ons (as Raoul Duke) in the comic strip Doonesbury. We know his uniform: eyeshade, cigarette holder, garish Hawaiian shirt, bermuda, shorts, bottle of Wild Turkey or similar beverage.
In Doonesbury, the character fights crisis with paranoia. In real life, Thompson has proven no more immune to the effects of alcohol and drug addiction than anybody else, and lives in isolation in his cabin In Woody Creek, Colo., where he has written almost nothing worth reading since his original brilliant books. He seems to be spending these latter days of his fame having almost as much fun as Brendan Behan did.