The Rum Diary, a tiring epic that follows the notorious gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, in a series of confusing and corrupted events, infused with shots of rum here and there. Starting with swigs of alcohol that are borderline pure gasoline to relying on money from backroom cock fights, Thompson is merely at the start of his infamous career as the “In-Your-Face” writer who had no limits, as he attempts to settle corruption in the tropical land of Puerto Rico.
The film centers on Hunter (Johnny Depp; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) as he applies for a new job at the local failing newspaper in the sunny land of the Caribbean, along the way befriending a local loud mouth drunk, Sala. Things get complicated when he becomes infatuated with the girlfriend (Amber Heard; Drive Angry) of a wealthy and sneaky businessman of sorts, Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart; Thank You for Smoking). The relaxation in the colorful paradise takes a turn when Thompson uncovers corruption involving Sanderson and the small newspaper agency. Now, it’s up to him to resolve the many conflicts in the lush island, while still drinking some rum along the way.
Though the film had some hilarious moments here and there, it still wasn’t able to make up for the long and grueling hour and a half of confusing story. At times, I was able to understand what was happening as well as what was to come, but it mainly ended up being a crash course about a twisted vacation.
The movie can be best described by this: The film was like a drunken man behind the wheel of a car, able to stay in the lane one second but veering off course another, only to end up swerving left and right down the road. It had a clear and coherent story one second and then suddenly became off-topic and confusing, making it a jumbled mess of partying in paradise and crookedness in the main-land.
I had high expectations for the film seeing that it came from the mind of one of the greatest writers to break the limits of journalism and that it was also closely related to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but I was left sadly disappointed.
The Rum Diary, a very long and interesting take on a trip to a distant land, may be funny at times but leaves you confused and tired in the end.
1 ½ out of 4