Movie Review of “The Rum Diary”

In order to understand a little about where the Rum Diary is going, it is necessary to know a little bit about author Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trial).

Thompson is credited with being the creator of something called Gonzo journalism: a type of journalism where the reporter thrust himself into the middle of a story and thus becomes part of it. Thompson was also a noted alcoholic, drug fiend, and substance abuser (with malice towards none). His hatred of authoritarian figures, his love of guns, and his repulsion of Richard Nixon, seem to be a recurring theme in his writings. Thompson committed suicide after experiencing health problems in 2005 at the age of 67.

Johnny Depp plays reporter Paul Kemp; a writer from New York who arrives in Puerto Rico in the 1950’s as the only applicant for a job working for the San Juan Star. Editor-in-Chief (Richard Jenkins) assigns Kemp some menial assignment and during his drunken philandering on the island, he becomes aware of a scheme by a land developer (Aaron Eckhart) that involves commercializing a juxtaposed island and screwing all the local inhabitants. Kemp, along with the help of a photographer (Michael Rispoli), finds himself as a man on a mission in undermining the capitalistic evil about to consume the island.

If you can stand all the drunkenness, drug use, and hangovers, you actually have a story here that provides some good drama, accompanied by a few belly laughs. I give it a thumbs up.

My rating: 3 of 5 Rum and Cokes.

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