An adaptation of a semi-autobiographical Hunter S. Thompson novel is not expected to be exacting or linear—so at least The Rum Diary passes that test. But the movie, spearheaded by and starring the late writer’s good friend Johnny Depp, seems more lost than manic. Audiences may not know where a movie is headed, but the movie itself should, and The Rum Diary doesn’t act like it has that confidence. Depp is fine as fictionalized Thompson caricature Paul Kemp, and Giovanni Ribisi, whose overacting would drown out the intentions of a more sharply focused story, is easily the most-memorable aspect of the entire affair. Depp is tipping his cap to someone very important to him with this tribute, and that’s commendable. Almost everything else about The Rum Diary misses the mark.
Director: Bruce Robinson
Producer: Johnny Depp, Christi Dembrowski, Anthony Rhulen, Robert Kravis, Graham King, Tim Headington, Patrick McCormick, George Tobia, Bill Shively, A.J. Dix, Greg Shapiro and Colin Vaines
Cast: Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Amber Heard, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi, Amaury Nolasco, Marshall Bell, Bill Smitrovich, Julian Holloway, Bruno Irizarry, Enzo Cilenti, Aaron Lustig, Tisuby González, Natalia Rivera and Karen Austin