I have to say that this Johnny Depp ‘vehicle’ is not as good as the brilliant adaptation of Hunter S Thompson’s other book ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ in which Depp also starred. It was nice to see Giovanni Ribisi (Pheobe’s brother in Friends) as an alcholic waster character, but it wasn’t a big part. The lovely Amber Heard was okay as the love interest but very reminiscent of Domino in Thunderball, although her motivation for wanting to scoot off with JD’s character was unclear.
Based in Peurto Rico in the 1950′s this is a story of a struggling journalist / writer trying to stay of the booze and do some quality work for the struggling local paper and ultimately challenging the ‘bastards’ – moneyed elite – that want to build a hotel on a untouched island and basically rape Peurto Rico for all its resources while the local population lives in poverty. So you may be able to tell the film tries to balance the serious aspect with the post ‘Hangover’ requirements for silly japes. For me it didn’t work very well, but it did make me want to read the book.