Paul is a journalist in New York who is bored with his life. Heading down to Puerto Rico to write for a small local paper, his life spins out of control after he falls for a beautiful woman. Next thing he knows Paul is clashing with her powerful husband in this adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s early novel.
Johnny Depp (Kemp), Aaron Eckhart (Sanderson), Michael Rispoli (Sala), Amber Heard (Chenault), Richard Jenkins (Lotterman), Giovanni Ribisi (Moberg), Amaury Nolasco (Segarra), Marshall Bell (Donovan).
The Rum Diary is an unusual and semi-entertaining story made interesting not by the overall plot but by the interesting and strange characters involved. An almost incoherent parade of strange souls follows us through this film leaving the smell of rum of sweat behind. The film does build tightly at points but never seems to capitalize but rather lets them die quickly before moving on.
If the timing weren’t impossible it is easy to think Thompson wrote The Rum Diary with Depp in mind. Completely in character, Depp shows us what we have seen many times before in another popular franchise; that he plays a drunk quite well. Eckhart did well as the antagonist while Rispoli was a whimsical and fun partner to Depp. Heard wasn’t much more than eye candy. Ribisi however was hysterical and delivered an excellent performance that was ridiculously enjoyable. Jenkins and the remainder of the cast did nicely.
Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were all nicely done and felt quite realistic throughout the film. Effects were minimal but well done. Dialogue was somewhat silly but fun and moved things along well. Sound and soundtrack were solid enough.
Overall The Rum Diary is a mildly entertaining drama, light on the drama. With some laughs thrown in, those who don’t take the film seriously will do well while those looking for intellectual enlightenment will be disappointed.
With foul language, drug use, and some sexuality save this one for the oldest teens and above.
The Rum Diary is no longer showing in any Littleton, Colorado movie theatres.
Star rating: 3 out of 5
copyright ©2012 Dave
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