The savage-but-sexy trailer for “The Rum Diary” signals a film as uncouth as the hilariously dark Hunter S. Thompson novel it’s based on.

The Rum Diary


Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) headlines as jaded journalist Paul Kemp, who snags a gig at a screws-coming-loose newspaper in ’60s-era Puerto Rico. On an alcohol-infused jaunt, Kemp rubs elbows with a shady businessman, Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart, “The Dark Knight”), whose smoldering fiancé, Chenault (Amber Heard, “Drive Angry 3-D”), tempts his spirits-soaked heart.

There’s little doubt Depp can handle the Kemp — this much is apparent by the shot of a bloodied, Steve Buscemi-eyed Depp that introduces the trailer.

Robinson’s narrative choices are of greater concern: Hardly visible is Kemp’s internal struggle to remain relevant as his youth fades. Instead, the trailer unfurls as an emptier, south-of-the-border “Hangover.” Nevertheless, Robinson manages a particularly svelte, intoxicating aesthetic that mutes any visible discrepancies and, perversely, makes Thompson’s dystopia all the more beckoning.

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