Director: Bruce Robinson
Screenplay: Bruce Robinson
Based On A Book By: Hunter S. Thompson
Producers: Johnny Depp, Graham King, Christi Dembrowski, Anthony Rhulen, Robert Kravis
Starring: Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribsi, Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 120 Minutes
The film is based upon Hunter S. Thompson’s novel of the same name, and whilst it misses out some of the parts in the book, it easily maintains the unpredictability of Thompson’s style of writing. Johnny Depp is quite convincing as the rum soaked journalist, but is slightly stale in places. For example, towards the end, Kemp becomes empowered to save the newspaper, and the way he describes his superiors as “Bastards”, doesn’t seem entirely fitting for the character. But Depp comes across as quite a complex character, so in that sense, he has truly portrayed Paul Kemp, in the style that Thompson would be proud of.
I was quite impressed with Aaron Eckhart’s performance of Sanderson, the property developer who isn’t all that he seems. The way he can flip between being a powerful, but helpful friend, and then the jealous raging schemer. There are a few moments that are strangely reminiscent to Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. A film that was originally a book also written by Hunter S. Thompson (Depp also starred) The film is quite odd in places, usually involving Giovanni Ribsi’s character, Moburg. But Moburg is very amusing throughout the whole film, and lightens the mood in serious situations.
The film also depicts the end of the “American Dream”, as we see the Americans living in Puerto Rico realise the dire state that the island had fallen into. Kemp experiences this first hand, and attempts to try change this. The film does drag on slightly, and would maybe better as an hour and a half feature rather than two hours, but it’s not a major negative. The atmosphere of the location makes the audience feel out of place, going hand in hand with Depp’s character’s situation. The film is well crafted, intriguing and enjoyable.
Written By Eammon Jacobs