In the movie The Rum Diary, Johnny Depp plays a tipsy and outlandish writer named Kemp, who is struggling to find his voice. His character proves to be somewhat inspirational to a developing writer such as myself. He finds work as a journalist in 1950’s Puerto Rico for an American newspaper outlet that is down on its luck.
With no real purpose, Kemp goes on a mission to find something with meaning to write about. Packed with enough potent liquor to make anybody’s night interesting, Kemp takes off into the Puerto Rican streets to find trouble. While the story drags along and the plot never turns enough to be interesting, there’s something you just can’t deny while watching: Johnny Depp is extremely fun to watch. Even if his drunken stumbling has already been done in the likes of Captain Jack Sparrow, I personally cannot get enough of it.
The story isn’t a complete failure, showing some great potential as Kemp finds his voice and uses some great journalism to save the day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pan out as you would expect and has an unfortunately dull ending.
With a handful of loony characters making Kemp look like the normal guy, amazingly beautiful lead lady (Amber Heard), and Aaron Eckheart as the smooth, super rich villain, The Rum Diary cast delivers a good performance that is weighted down by a slow plot. The movie is a wonderful tribute to fun, exciting journalism and the drinks of Puerto Rico. However, it does move slowly and lacks any crazy excitement. Despite the movie’s flaws, Depp delivers another classic performance, and any fan of him should check the movie out. If you’re looking for a movie with a gripping plot, however, The Rum Diary is not for you.
Tyler Stinson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org