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Justin’s Movie Review of The Rum Diary from Alex’s Mixed Bag, 7th April 2012

This week I saw The Rum Diary, which is based on the novel by Hunter S Thompson

This film is set in Puerto Rico in 1960 and Stars Johnny Depp playing alcoholic Journalist and Wannabe Author Paul Kemp. Kemp moves to a booming Puerto Rico after being often a job to write for the news paper the San Jaun Star.

Kemp befriends Staff Photographer Sala and the two become flatmates and both begin various booze fuelled adventures. Kemp also meets wealthy entrepreneur Sanderson played by Aaron Eckhart, who also has a girlfriend by the name of Chanault who Kemp develops somewhat of a crush on.

Kemp’s loyalty and ethics are tested when Sanderson gives Kemp a business proposition in regards to a property development and that is where the plot starts to begin and soon fizzles out. Obviously there are some internal struggles when it comes to loyalties and ethics as Kemp starts to come to grips with where his life is heading, but the film doesn’t really head in any meaningful direction.

This becomes one of those films where nothing much seems to happen, this in itself it not a big issue as a lot of films these days will concentrate on characters over an actual plot, but this film struggles to do either.

The main characters are all very unlikable, and seem to spend the whole film drunk, but not in a crazy funny adventure drunk, but a sad pathetic, life going nowhere type of drunk. There is also the character of political Journalist Moberg played by Giovanni Ribisi, who is usually a very good actor, but plays this character who seems to be in a semi coma, and it all becomes very over the top and borderline irritating.

The only shining light is the setting and replication of a 1960s Puerto Rico, which really looked quite impressive and authentic, not that I would know what 1960s Puerto Rico would have looked like, but the film captured what I would imagine it to be.

Johnny Depp, was alright in it, but it seems to be the sort of part he plays a lot these days and it all becomes a bit repetitive, and I felt he could have done a bit better as he is quite capable.

I struggled with this film, and found it a tad boring and a little bit pointless.

I give it one and a half stars.

Watch the trailer here

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