The Rum Diary (2011)

This is the movie version of the Hunter S. Thompson novel of the same name, once again with Johnny Depp playing the lead role as he did in the 1998 classic 

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

In full disclosure I have not read the original novel, but based on the previous outing with Fear and Loathing, a book I had read, I did go into this one knowing this was probably going to be a weaker retelling of a story.   However, considering this was simply an awful movie, I have now this one on my reading list so I can determine if the screenplay was at fault, or the original source material.

Of course, any Thompson story is semi-autobiographical, a wistful thinking of the authors life in a variety of different situations.  In this outing, we have our budding journalist down in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper in the 1960s.  With his drink fueled life (and a hilarious addiction to spirited hotel miniatures) we see him get to grips with the local scene, finding out who is who, and weaving through a variety of moral challenges as he tries to figure out his place in the world.

The supporting cast in this movie is simply not being used to their fullest.  

Giovanni Ribisi role as the off-the-rails journalist goes no where and 

Richard Jenkins plays the toupee wearing editor-in-chief who is trying to keep the motley crew together long enough to get a newspaper printed.

Sadly, all the best bits are to be found in the 2 minute trailer.  While the trailer does not necessarily give away all the plot line (if you can all it a plot line), it does setup a completely different tone than the one you get.

Depp does his usual Jack-Sparrow-as-a-journalist but it isn’t enough to carry what is a very poor outing.  Considering all the ingredients director,

Bruce Robinson, had to work with here, he definitely left it in the oven too long.

Would stay clear of this one and save yourself the agony and lost time. 


Viewing Date
Tuesday, 15th September 2015


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Author: Alan Williamson

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