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The Rum Diary a hot mess 

Johnny Depp's new movie uneven, but a good time anyway

click to enlarge rumdiary.jpg
It's 1960 and Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) has just arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Going to work at a failing local newspaper staffed by layabouts and alcoholics, Kemp writes horoscopes and stories about tourists bowling, but also sees the dichotomy on the island, the impoverished locals being screwed by American hotel owners and land-grabbers. And in this, The Rum Diary seems most in tune with our times, as 99:1 is a ratio we're seeing a lot of lately, the haves versus the have-nots. This adaptation of the Hunter S. Thompson novel sat on the shelf for awhile, probably because the studio had no idea how to sell it. It's neither a wild farce nor terribly serious at any point, more a casual good time with solid performances, some wit in the dialogue and a meandering, thoughtful plot. Likely best-suited for fans of the late gonzo journalist who penned the thing.


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