There are now three films which have been made that are based on the works of the American journalist Hunter S. Thompson. The first two films ‘Where the Buffalo Roam’ and ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ are based on journalistic pieces written by HST. They are both fantastic films which deliver action, laughter and thought provoking monologues throughout. They are undoubtedly very cool films and both have the cult status they deserve. Anyone who has watched either of these films instantly becomes a Hunter S. Thompson fan.
Where the Buffalo Roam 1980 – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 1998
The third film however ‘The Rum Diary’ is based on the first novel written by HST, this film has a number of problems, the main one being that it tries too hard to be cool. It is the equivalent of the rock musician who wears sunglasses in doors.
The first two films know exactly what they want to achieve, ‘The Rum Diary’ unfortunately does not. Within 45 minutes the film has gone through many changes in terms of being comical, dramatic and forced thought provoking monologues it loses its original themes which the novel put across. Also, as the first two films were based on HST’s journalistic writings they were always going to be better films, as they were essentially real accounts of the sheer madness that HST lived. The question that both of these films leave the viewer asking, is, how much of what they have just watched really happened? This adds to the allure of the films.
Maybe it is because I am a Hunter S. Thompson purest, maybe it is because Johnny Depp’s production company who made this film threatened to sue me over a misunderstood YouTube video. But, I couldn’t recommend ‘The Rum Diary’ to anyone. I would however recommend the first two with confidence, as these really bring awareness to the talent that HST was. This will lead to a desire to read everything written by this man, and make you see the world, if only briefly, in the same light.