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Postcard Review – The Rum Diary

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What are you. Are you a fictionalized biopic about the early, formative years of Hunter S. Thompson – given, in your narrative, the pseudonym Paul Kemp? Are you a tale of how neo-colonialism mingled with 1960’s-era American exceptionalism and rampant capitalism to cripple an island nation? Or are you the story of a man lost in an island paradise with too much booze, too many enablers, and not enough hours to nurse the hangover?

You have your moments of fun and interest, and all of your actors give their best shot at creating energetic and engaging scenes, but between your uncertainty of your own narrative and the “what are we building toward” nature of what little plot we get, I can’t say I recommend you that much. Better, it would seem to me, to just watch Fear and Loathing again, as that is clearly the tale you are building toward with your narrative. Not only is Depp still channeling (though in a more muted way) the same old Hunter S. Thompson, but Kemp’s sidekick Zala is clearly a knockoff of the archetype of Dr. Gonzo, hair, voice, paunch and all. Still, for all your attempts to take on the trappings of that far superior film, you fail to make a convincing approximation.

Nice try,

Brian J. Roan

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