Friends shouldn't let friends make movies based on other friends'
books. You follow that?
Then, you are one step ahead of me with Johnny Depp's new movie, The
Rum Diary, which is based on his pal Hunter S. Thompson's novel,
which follows the crazy adventures of a gonzo, hard drinking
journalist, Paul Kemp (Johnny "I am playing Hunter S. Thompson" Depp),
trying to make it in Puerto Rico in 1960 among all of the fellow
drunken, oddball, outcaste writers and some rich guys, Sanderson (Aaron
Eckhart) and Mr. Zimburger (Bill Smitrovich), who have a massive scheme
to become even more rich.
I'm sure Depp felt very close to Thompson and wanted to do something to
preserve his pal's memory (that's honorable), especially after being
granted access to the unpublished manuscript back in the 1990's, but it
feels like The Rum Diary is a more interesting movie if you
have some rum in you at the time.
Writer/director Bruce Robinson gives us a movie where the plot is
barely there and is made subservient to making Johnny Depp look pretty
while cavorting on the beach or driving along the coast line in the
kind of car and with the kind of beautiful lady (co-star Amber Heard)
that makes you wish you looked like Johnny Depp (I wish I looked like
Johnny Depp, too).
Depp is fine and entertaining as the wild child journalist trying to
navigate the insane situations he constantly finds himself wrapped up
in, but that makes The Rum Diary a movie with funny moments instead of
being a funny, well told movie.
There's a reason The Rum Diary has been sitting around
gathering dust on the shelf for the past couple of years.
The Rum Diary is rated R for language,
sexuality and brief drug use.