The movie “Rum Diary,” featuring a well-equipped and versatile actor, Johnny Depp, fell flat on its face in theatres during its opening weekend.
Despite its initial praise, the “Rum Diary” finished fifth this weekend in the box office, failing to meet expectations. The movie only grossed $5.14 million dollars, wheras “Puss in Boots,” which opened the same weekend grossed $34.08 million, making people forget the “Rum Diary” was even playing at the same theatre.
The plot was unique in the same fashion as that of “The Big Lebowski” in which the audience struggles to understand the meaning of what is going on and why things are happening. It is not a psychological brainteaser, but merely a poorly-written screenplay turned into a half-comical parody of an idiot pair that cannot seem to get their lives in order no matter what they try.
It takes place during the 1950s in Puerto Rico, opening with a failed novelist who is looking to become a journalist, hung over in a trashed apartment. Things go downhill from there rapidly when he gets involved in a kooky plan to build a string of hotels along the coast of the island. It turns out his boss, played by Aaron Eckhart, is a conspiring fiend but has power and money that can persuade even the most inspired free thinkers into conforming.
The main character’s life continues to accelerate downhill as a multitude of unfortunate events grasp him in a paralyzing bind. Basically, Depp falls in love with a woman that he cannot have and struggles to earn her affections while fighting off tyrants, savage police and crazed locals, all the while trying to keep his head above water by experimenting with all the new drugs out on the market.
The “Rum Diary” is a title that people will want to view solely because of the names Depp and Eckhart, but it does have its comedic moments. All in all, it is a strong recommendation that perhaps you should save to rent from your local Blockbuster during their special 49-cent Sundays.