The Rum Diary is the latest tribute by Johnny Depp to his late friend Hunter S. Thompson. For me The Rum Diary is a much better movie than 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The plot and characters are much more likeable and easier to follow. Rum Diary is a much more heartfelt and overall loving tribute to a departed friend. The movie is based on the experiences of Thompson during his stay in the Caribbean during the early 1960s.
The movie is quite funny in places but also takes on a serious tone in relation to Thompson and his fight against the “bastards” of corruption. For me the lack of focus on the corruption is the weakest portion of the movie. Depp does a great job of paying to homage to Thompson without going over the top. Richard Jenkins, Aaron Eckhart, and Michael Rispoli all give great supporting performances, while Amber Heard does a great job of looking sultry and beautiful. Despite showing the seedier side of Puerto Rico, The Rum Diary is a visually striking movie. The beaches, blue skies, and overall beauty of the island really shine.
The Rum Diary is a film about finding your place and voice in the world, luckily Thompson did just that in Puerto Rico.
Current listening: “Shangri-La” – Mark Knopfler, entire album is great!!