In the beginning, the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the heavens and the earth. The earth was a watery void, and because the Spaghetti Monster could not swim, He made land—and built on it a beer volcano. Drunk on its bounty, the Spaghetti Monster created Man and placed him in the Olive Garden of Eden, where he lived happily until his Creator accidentally flooded him out in a cooking mishap. 

From the trailer, one might suspect that Inherent Vice marks auteur Paul Thomas Anderson’s return to his lighter, funnier side, but this is only partially the case. While Anderson’s early films (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love) offer more levity than his last two more puzzling character studies (There Will Be Blood, The Master), none are without a certain dramatic weight. Inherent Vice has that weight, even while its large cast of delightfully absurd characters delivers potent laughs. It may also be Anderson’s most inscrutable film to date.