|Directed by:||Bruce Robinson|
|Written by:||Bruce Robinson|
|Cast:||Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart, Richard Jenkins, Michael Rispoli|
With honor to the great Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp attempts to portray yet another character that gives life to the Gonzo style of writing. This movie in no way is a outlandish comedy. It just takes you to a place that only Hunter can take you. Well, somewhat.
The movie shouldn't be viewed as a Fear and Loathing type movie. Not by the least. Though, at times, you do get that vibe that it wants to move into the same room as Fear and Loathing. The story is about Paul Kemp who leaves New York to write for a Puerto Rican paper. He wants to be taken serious as a novelist above all else.
The movie is fictional to a degree that you have to believe that Hunter himself experienced much of this movie when he actually spent time in Puerto Rico. Much like his constant Gonzo companion, Raoul Duke, Paul Kemp is a slight extension of Hunter. Paul is more reserved and calm but you have that feeling this character was never sober and his writing style isn't really put on display throughout the movie. Though, the slight muttering that Hunter was known for, is mimicked perfectly by Depp yet again. You never feel that Depp is drunk throughout the movie, but you do know, and probably understand, when he hits a hangover from that lowly state.
Much like all of Hunter's books, this story is more about humans steep in treachery, politics, alcohol and drugs, and being lost within one's self. Much like Kemp, the story starts with a purpose but ends with an empty feeling that gets lost along the away.
Depp's costars are few and far between. Aaron Eckhart portrays a shady land owner that only sees green and the power he has over those below him.
Amber Heard portrays Eckhart's gf/fiance that only wants the lavish life of being wealthy but none of the people that go with it. And yet again Amber Heard grabs your attention every time she's on screen. Forever portraying that vibrant woman, with a purpose.
Michael Rispoli portrays Sal, a fellow writer at the newspaper that Kemp gets hired at in Puerto Rico. In many ways his character feels like Dr. Gonzo from Fear and Loathing. The rough and raspy voice gives that vibe. He is forever by Kemp's side and never acts a "positive" foil to Kemp.
Giovanni Ribisi portrays my character in the film. He is a fellow writer at the paper but is so far gone from sanity and reality that I was often questioning his drug riddled rants with pure anger. Most of his jabber sounds incoherent but you can hear Hunter's very thoughts and views spewing through his drunken lips. Very loudly I might add.
Overall the movie wasn't bad. It pretty much lived up to what I was expecting. Though, at times, I felt lost on what the movie was going for. I do know that this movie fed my hunger for more Hunter based movies or writings for that matter. I'm not praising the movie but at the same time I do give it the "give it a shot" promise. You'll see Depp playing much like the Depp we all used to see.