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The Rum Diary

By AP KRYZA
Long before the book was actually published, Hunter S. Thompson was absolutely obsessed with seeing The Rum Diary hit the big screen. When the Great Gonzo punched his own ticket in 2005, his dear friend Johnny Depp made it his mission to finally bring the vision to the screen and, after several false starts, The Rum Diary finally boasts Depp in the lead and reclusive cult director Bruce Robinson (Withnail and I) behind the camera. Shot amid the beautiful sands of San Juan, The Rum Diary tells the tale of Thompson avatar Paul Kemp, a 22-year-old reporter (Depp is 48, though you wouldn’t know it) who arrives at the city’s dying newspaper for his first professional gig, only to discover that his editor (the great Richard Jenkins) would rather see stories about American tourists having fun than the rape of the land at the hands of developers such as Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart, in the film’s weakest role). It actually works beautifully for a while, prodded along by excellent performances all around, particularly a show-stopping Giovanni Ribisi and an uncharacteristically subdued Depp as the pre-frenzied Thompson. But then, suddenly and without warning, The Rum Diary forgets that the book isn’t a comedy. Or particularly good. The shroud of sentimentality adds far too much sugar to a life that was marked—celebrated—for its piss and vinegar. The Rum Diary begins as the portrait of the Gonzo as a young man. It ends as a sappy Disney movie far too drunk on its sense of purpose to realize it’s taken an extraordinary life and rendered it utterly dull and normal by comparison.
 
  • Genres: Drama
  • Running Time: 119 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, October 28, 2011
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R [ Brief Drug Use, Language, Sexuality ]
  • Critic's Score: 62
  • Starring: Johnny Depp [Paul Kemp], Aaron Eckhart [Sanderson], Michael Rispoli [Sala], Amber Heard [Chenault], Richard Jenkins [Lotterman], Giovanni Ribisi [Moburg], Amaury Nolasco [Segurra], Marshall Bell [Donovan], Bill Smitrovich [Mr. Zimburger], Julian Holloway [Wolsley], Bruno Irizarry [Lazar], Enzo Cilenti [Digby], Aaron Lustig [Monk], Tisuby González [Rosy], Natalia Rivera [Chenault's Friend], Karen Austin [Mrs. Zimburger]
  • Directed by: Bruce Robinson [Director], Bruce Robinson [Screenwriter], Johnny Depp [Producer], Christi Dembrowski [Producer], Anthony Rhulen [Producer], Robert Kravis [Producer], Graham King [Producer], Tim Headington [Producer], Patrick McCormick [Executive Producer], George Tobia [Executive Producer], Bill Shively [Executive Producer], A.J. Dix [Executive Producer], Greg Shapiro [Executive Producer], Colin Vaines [Executive Producer], Dariusz Wolski [Cinematographer], Chris Seagers [Production Design], Carol Littleton [Film Editor], Colleen Atwood [Costume Designer], Christopher Young [Original Music], Denise Chamian [Casting], Dawn Swiderski [Art Director], Rosemary Brandenburg [Set Decoration]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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