The Rum Diary (2011) starring Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Amber Heard, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi, Amaury Nolasco directed by Bruce Robinson Movie Review

The Rum Diary (2011)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary (2011)


Journalist Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico for a job interview as a writer for a newspaper and fortunately for him he is the only applicant as he is hiding a raging hangover behind his dark glasses. Paul makes various friends whilst there from former journalist Moburg (Giovanni Ribisi) who is a wreck after a life off drugs and alcohol to Sala (Michael Rispoli) a photographer who makes money on the side fighting cocks. But Paul also meets Chenault (Amber Heard) the mistress of land developer Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) who wants Paul to slant any stories he writes about him for the paper in a positive light when in truth he is a nasty piece of work which makes Paul's feelings for Chenault a big mistake.

I've said before that I watch a movie because it is there, not because the storyline appealed or it featured an actor I am a fan of or had rave reviews, although those things help. Some might say this is stupid as it means I have watched plenty of movies which have wasted 90 or so minutes of my life but it is also how I have come to watch some movies which have stunned me which I might never have bothered with. Sadly "The Rum Diary" isn't one of them as having no interest in writer Hunter S. Thompson or his novel on which this is based and being only moderately impressed by Depp as an actor I watched in the hope that maybe this would impress me rather than feeling a desperate need to watch it.

Now maybe "The Rum Diary" ended up the way it did out of design but all it comes across as is a collection of larger than life characters be it Kemp himself being a heavy drinker who stumbles around most mornings to Moburg being the fried former journalist who looks like an artistic bum. Basically everything about it seems to be designed to be quirky and whilst quirky is enjoyable too much is annoying especially when there is little else to break things up. Now in fairness it does have a storyline but it is so uneven and bitty that it doesn't work in a coherent manner. As I said this maybe by design but it didn't work for me.

As for the acting well Johnny Depp delivers one of those performances which will appeal to his fans because it is full of comical ticks and mannerisms but for those who are not such Depp devotees it is only an okay performance. Then again every single performance in "The Rum Diary" is okay with a case of everyone being too quirky.

What this all boils down to is that "The Rum Diary" is not for me, it was a chore to watch and not that entertaining. But as I said maybe those who adore Depp or who are fans of the late Hunter S. Thompson may find it more entertaining and interesting.