The Rum Diary (2011) is the screen adaptation of Hunter S’s novel of the same name and tells the story of Paul Kemp (a composite character that Hunter S. Thompson claimed was not based on himself) a novice journalist, just starting out working for an ailing newspaper in Puerto Rico.
I wanted to like this movie because I am a fan of both the late Thompson and Johnny Depp, but the film felt slapped together. It was sloppily edited, relatively plot-less and just stopped abruptly at the end. Also it didn’t really convey the nascent gonzo fury of the protagonist.
Gilliam’s movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) is much better. Possibly because Gilliam was one of the few film-makers genuinely demented enough to take on the book. On the other hand, it’s got Amber Heard (see below)- I think Thompson would have appreciated that. Good supporting cast members include Michael Rispoli and Giovanni Ribisi.
But at least it’s a journo film about some nutty guys in an assortment of straw hats who I can relate to. That’s got to be worth something.