Movie Review: “For No Good Reason” Is An Absorbing Story

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Review by James McDonald

Johnny Depp pays a visit to Ralph Steadman, the renowned English cartoonist artist and the last of the original Gonzo visionaries who worked alongside Hunter S. Thompson.

At its core, “For No Good Reason” is a simple tale. Johnny Depp travels to England to meet up with his old friend Ralph Steadman, best known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson. Although Mr. Depp gets top billing and obviously the studio will be pushing his name in the hopes to bring in larger crowds, Mr. Steadman is the main focus here. He traveled around the U.S. with Mr. Thompson, the quirky American journalist and author and drew pictures for several of his articles and books, including “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.

He escorted Thompson to the Kentucky Derby to do an article for the magazine ‘Scanlan’s’. They then traveled to Hawaii for the Honolulu Marathon for the magazine ‘Running’, where both men participated in the race but no sooner had they begun than they were picked up in a van and then hurried to the end of the course. When the runners eventually appeared, they got out of the van and crossed the finish line first, much to the chagrin of the other racers. Undoubtedly, the farce did not go down too well and they quickly left.

Mr. Steadman is celebrated for his political and social parodies, cartoons and picture books. Watching his unique approach to painting and drawing, was the highlight of the film for me. Even though Mr. Depp is in there too, he does very little to advance the movie. He obviously has screen presence but here, he’s just himself and for the most part, he lets Mr. Steadman take center stage. And that’s a good thing because Mr. Steadman has indisputable charisma and I could listen to his stories and anecdotes about his volatile friendship with the late Mr. Thompson all day long.

In select theaters May 16th including the Magnolia Dallas

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James McDonald
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