1990 Silicon Dreams Games and Movie Reviews: The Rum Diary: Hunter Thompson and Johny Depp

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Rum Diary: Hunter Thompson and Johny Depp

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The Rum Diary is a 2011 move that follows in the limited success of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It all started out with Johny Depp, a long time friend of Thompson, who spent some time living at his ranch, and was one day digging up stuff in his attic, where he found the manuscript to an unpublished book of his. Hunter Thompson's Rum Diary is a semi-biographical work, following his trails in San Juan, where he was working as a journalist for the local newspaper. 

Written under another pseudonym of his, or another character as you wish, it's an objective and compelling view on how other nations, affected by the US, see the states, as both a savior, bringing on financial opportunities, and a monster, capitalizing on local resources by any means possible.

Thompson's character (Paul Kemp) quickly gets involved with a local entrepreneur, whose specialty is arranging for hotels to be built, where normally they wouldn't be allowed. Shortly thereafter, said businessman and his friends, tries to recruit Kemp to write some articles, masterminded to create a sense of inevitability around the construction of a chain of hotels on a pristine plot of local beach. Instead Kemp gets involved with the businessman's wife, and subsequently ruins all his chances to get into the business. But Kemp's motivation of going in is hardly the money. He and his friend get in trouble with some locals, and after the magnate bails them out, he's forced to help them, under the threat of the guy withdrawing bail, at which point Kemp would have to serve an year or two in prison.

In the book as well as the movie, Kemp is portrayed as a young and somewhat idealistic failed author, looking for his voice in writing. And he eventually finds it in the unwillingness to conform to the extreme greed in moneymaking that is the typical American entrepreneur abroad way.

As always, if you liked the movie, try the book. Hunter Thompson's discovery of gonzo journalism is one of those unique little marvels of literature that have marked our century forever. 


  1. Looks great, I am going to watch this!

  2. Sounds like a good plot! I like its realism!

  3. I'm already a Fear&Loathing fan so this should be right up my alley.

  4. It sounds pretty good, I had no idea about the background.

  5. Love fear and loathing, hopefully this one can be as good.

  6. I feel like I saw this at some point, I don't really remember it though.


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