Hard-drinking journalist Paul Kemp takes a job at a besieged newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His volatile editor, Lotterman, assigns him to tourist pieces and horoscopes, but promises more. Paul rooms with Sala, an aging and equally alcoholic reporter, in a rundown flat. Sanderson, a wealthy entrepreneur, hires Paul to flack for a group of investors who plan to buy an island near the capital and build a resort. Sanderson's girl-friend, the beguiling Chenault, bats her eyes at Paul. His loyalties face challenges when he and Sala get in trouble with locals, when a Carnival dance enrages Sanderson, and when the paper hits the skids. Is the solution always alcohol? Written by
I'm a huge Hunter S Thompson fan, but I was feeling very weary of this film since it has been shelved for almost a year now. I attended the world premiere last night, and I can report with absolute sincerity that if you loved HST's work, this will not disappoint.
The one problem many die hard fans of the book may have is with the character of Sanderson. In the book Paul Kemp and Sanderson represent the dueling persona's of Hunter, one being a cutthroat athletic type, the other being the booze-hound anti-authoritarian. In this film, Johnny Depp plays more to the character being a young HST and combines the characteristics of both into Kemp. Some may have a problem with this, but the movie is stronger for it as you are only rooting for the protagonist while giving the story a strong antagonist, a necessity in filmmaking.
In my eyes, this is Bruce Robinson's best work on screen to date, Johnny Depp is absolutely awe-inspiringly believable as a very young and constrained Hunter, and the cast could not have been more dead on. I'll be seeing this several more times in the theaters in the coming months.
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