Those who are expecting Johnny Depp's Hunter S. Thompson persona in The Rum Diary (a.k.a. Paul Kemp) to be as outrageous and mentally-unbounded as his Raoul Duke was in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas... well, you're probably going to be a bit disappointed.
However, as the latest clips and TV spots released for writer/director Bruce Robinson's Rum Diary adaptation demonstrate, there will still be plenty of Depp getting up to booze-fueled debauchery - and even some fully-realized character drama.
Rum Diary won't be another financial blockbuster for Depp, but seems like an entertaining romp that sees the actor deliver a far more energized performance than he did this past summer in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. While most people still adore Jack Sparrow (and with good reason), it's hard to deny that particular Depp shtick feels kind of tired right now. So a change of (acting) pace from the actor is more than welcome.
Check out Depp's Kemp as he drinks excessively, flirts with a dazzling (and wet) Connecticut-born woman named Chenault (Amber Heard), and has a friendly chat with her fiance (Aaron Eckhart) in the Rum Diary TV spots and clips below:
Here is an official description of the "main conflict" in Robinson's Rum Diary adaptation:
Sanderson (Eckhart), a businessman involved in shady property development deals, is one of a growing number of American entrepreneurs who are determined to convert Puerto Rico into a capitalist paradise in service of the wealthy. When Kemp (Depp) is recruited by Sanderson to write favorably about his latest unsavory scheme, the journalist is presented with a choice: to use his words for the corrupt businessmen’s financial benefit, or use them to take the bastards down.
Whereas Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas reflected the "death" of the 1960s American counter-cultural revolution, Rum Diary is set during an earlier stage of that movement. So it's all the more fitting that there's more of an actual purpose behind Depp's shenanigans in this film - as opposed to just the kooky meaninglessness of his deeds in Fear and Loathing.
All the same, drugged-out and unhinged Depp is always good fun - so keep those fingers crossed that The Rum Diary won't mark the exception.
The Rum Diary stars Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, Richard Jenkins, and Giovanni Ribisi. It opens in theaters around the U.S. on October 28th, 2011.