The Rum Diary

(R) ★★★☆☆

In this frustrating but thickly atmospheric film version of the early Hunter S. Thompson novel, Johnny Depp plays Paul Kemp, a reporter in late-1950s Puerto Rico. Kemp falls in with the thrill-seeking lover (Amber Heard) of a ruthless American developer (Aaron Eckhart). Then the two men test their ethics against each other. Though made by seasoned pros, the film lacks sophistication. Depp can carry just about anything involving scoundrels, but Bruce Robinson’s direction feels rusty.

Suggested Next Read

Steamed!

A&E

Steamed!

By Jason Scavone

Nikola Tesla has a posse. The father of alternating current, the induction motor and, quite possibly, the death ray is the most finely realized specimen of mad science who’s ever had the courtesy to leap out of the pages of the pulps and into real life. He also stands, alongside Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, as the spiritual totem of Steampunk, the genre that marries science fiction to Victorian convention. It’s kind of a reimagining of the whiz-bang Jet Age spirit of adventure and scientific can-do through the lens of Industrial Revolution technology.

DTLV

RunRebs

X