The Rum Diary Reviews
Depp stares off into space, as if his brain were being slowly eaten by worms, and he speaks in a robo-monotone. You could call his acting ''cool,'' but a more apt description would be monochromatic and hollow.
The Rum Diary could use a shot of the mania that fueled Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. As deadpan as he is, Depp could use a crazed Benicio Del Toro to complement his cool.
The juice that powers "The Rum Diary" has very little to do with the title drink, and almost everything to do with Johnny Depp looking happily intoxicated to play a real character again.
We have the feeling that Kemp/Thompson saw much of life through the bottom of a dirty glass and did not experience it with any precision. The film duplicates this sensation, not with much success.
Despite some scattered moments of bad craziness involving the hero and his drinking buddies, the spine of the story is no strange and terrible saga but a conventional morality tale.
Jazzy and colorful, full of men and women in swell clothes driving cool cars, The Rum Diary has a bit of a seedily exotic Graham Greene vibe, and Robinson moves things along at a nice, casual clip, even in the film's more overheated moments.
Writer/director Robinson is anything but disciplined... and he's more inclined to just turn the camera on and let Depp do his thing. Which Depp does very well, but as talented and watchable as he is, even he can't completely save the picture.