The Rum Diary **1/2

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“The Rum Diary” is an odd movie to sit through.  It is unfocused and seems like have a story but it held my attention.  Maybe because of Johnny Depp’s droll performance as well as some of the supporting characters.

The story follows a guy named Paul Kemp, a journalist, played by Depp, as he grows disillusioned with America and moves to Puerto Rico to write for the San Juan Star.  There he begins drinking rum on a daily basis, getting into bizarre drinking adventures and becomes obsessed with a local socialite.

The movie is based on a book by Hunter S. Thompson, whom Depp is quite fond of.  He played Thompson in 1998’s “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas” which has developed a cult following. 

Here the story doesn’t depend on mind bending drugs.  Point of fact, this movie doesn’t really depend on anything. Every plot thread that is developed is pretty much left open ended.

But I have to admit that I was intrigued by a lot of the supporting characters, my favorite being a really offbeat reporter played by Giovanni Ribisi.  Here is a man who looks like an alcoholic who may not need to drink anymore as his DNA is now producing his own booze.  He was funny anytime he was on screen, even if his character really never developed or went anywhere.

“The Rum Diary” is not a good movie but I would not deter you from seeing it.  It is almost like a dream by someone with a massive hangover. 

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