Directed By: Bruce Robinson
Starring: Johnny Depp, Richard Jenkins, Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Rispoli
Screenplay: Bruce Robinson, Hunter S. Thompson
UK Release Date: 11th November 20111 - UK
Quick Plot: Journalist Paul Kemp decides to move from New York to the island of Puerto Rico where he writes for the local newspaper and begins a flirtatious relationship with Chenault, the fiancée of a pompous business man Sanderson. It's not long before Kemp realises that Puerto Rico isn't what he had expected.
Review: The Rum Diary was worth the wait. It has taken nearly 50 years to get published, adapted and then filmed and it's certainly worth that time. But although it is great to finally see it, I can't help but feel let down with it. Johnny Depp is ideal for the lead role of Paul Kemp and, even though the character is fairly younger than Depp's real age, he can pull it off. We've seen him in enough different roles for Kemp to be an easy character (compared to the likes of Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, etc...).
However, acting wise it's Ribisi who gives the best performance in The Rum Diary as Moburg, another reporter for the newspaper. With his wacky enthusiasm and obvious drink problem, he adds the humour even if it is a little deficient. Amber Heard is merely used for her appearance and, although it works, when watching her in play Chenault you kind of want her to have more of a input to the story.
The Rum Diary does have a funny hint to it which is mostly the situations Kemp and his friends get into. With a very witty script, the characters have fantastic come backs for their situations which makes the film likable. Most of the jokes centre around Kemp and other characters drinking habits but the big laugh out loud moment is the car scene, which I'm sure everyone has heard of by now. There are a few more creepier scenes involving voodoo and cock fighting, but there's not enough focus on them to give them anything more than laughs.
The 120 run time was definitely noticeable as the film seemed to go on for a longer time than that. It takes it's time to really hit off and become fun which is all down to Heard and Ribisi's entrances, then closer to the end, the film starts to fall down again. Though if you stick with it, I'm sure it's enjoyable but it's certainly not for everyone.
Funny and entertaining. At one point you'll feel as if it's dragged, whether at the beginning or end. Depp delivers what he usually does and, for that reason, the film works great.
The Rum Diary trailer