The Rum Diary a hot mess

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

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.

About The Author

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Now Playing

The Rum Diary is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Comments (1)

Add a comment

Add a Comment

What others are saying

  • Get more Halifax

    Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.