October 30, 2011

Mixed Reviews: The Rum Diary

The Rum Diary, one of Hollywood’s most plagued and delayed film adaptations, has finally made it to the big screen. So, was it worth the wait? Here’s what the critics say.
Ben Kendrick from Screenrant says:

The Rum Diary is mostly an entertaining adaptation of Thompson’s story – though, much like the book, few of Kemp’s actual adventures work together to build a cohesive narrative. Instead, the film plays out like a series of “moments” – which, by the end, may not provide the kind of payoff that some moviegoers might be expecting…the movie falls short of either a profound adaptation of Thompson’s book (mind bending warts and all) or a dumbed down version with a clear narrative focus.”

Claudia Puig from USA TODAY says:

“While Depp captures Thompson's spirit and has some undeniable funny moments, there are others in which Pirates of the Caribbean's Captain Jack seeps through, without the accent, in his reactions and even underlying his slurring vocal cadence. The tale was no doubt meant to convey Kemp/Thompson's boozy aimlessness, but the film feels disjointed and meandering as a result.”

Ethan Alter from Television Without Pity says:

“Despite the cast's best efforts and the lovely Puerto Rican locations, the material never really sparks to life. Robinson's script is too diffuse and the various episodes aren't consistently dramatic or funny enough to build to a memorable payoff. Love it or hate it, Gilliam's adaptation of Fear and Loathing has a go-for-broke quality that reflects its subject's distinct voice. The Rum Diary is too timid by comparison, recounting Thompson's words, but never really providing us with any insight into his mind.”

Marshall Fine from Hollywood and Fine says:

The Rum Diary is like a lengthy drinking binge of a movie: It’s fun for a while, seems to offer more meaning than it actually does – and leaves you wishing it hadn’t ended so badly.”

Kimberly Gadette from A-Z Animals says:

“Though the characters can be amusing, even fascinating (witness Giovanni Ribisi’s ragtag Hitler idolater), and though Johnny Depp gives as good a Hunter S. Thompson characterization as he did in 1998s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this film ultimately disappoints.”

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