REVIEW: The Rum Diary (Bruce Robinson, 2011)

Why does this movie exist? Is it "Fear & Loathing" for wimps? For the most part I think it's trying to be shocking - and some "Loathing"-isms feel so obligatorily wedged in they can't be intended as anything more - but who will it actually shock? Nuns? The San Juan cultures of heavy drinking, odd hallucinogenics, voodoo and cockfighting are tiredly strung out through breathless exposition, wringing them of any potential intrigue. Of course it doesn't help that simply knowing the proceedings are based upon a Thompson work causes one to go in expecting the would-be wild subject matter. It's a pity, since the more overt message concerns the importance of being more than fluffy filler simply designed to entertain a boring audience, yet fluffy filler is precisely what "The Rum Diary" is.