Johnny Depp discovered the long lost novel, so it only makes sense that he plays a part in the film. Also, let's not forget his stunning performance as the author, Hunter S. Thompson in the film adaptation for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. However, his portrayal as journalist/writer/novelist/rum drinker, is Hunter S. Thompson lite.
The film does the novel an injustice that no act of contrition can mend. Adding elements and removing characters and shifting ideas around doesn't make an interesting story. It creates a little more conflict that puts Paul Kemp on a different banal adventure, but there isn't a thing about this movie that captures this reader's attention.
When I asked my coworker what he thought of the movie, he said he couldn't keep his eyes open. He expected a Fear and Loathing in Puerto Rico, but received a hack job love story instead. Love story? There wasn't one in the book. Sure, there was an attraction between Kemp and Chenault, but it was all sexual. Yeamon? Well, he's been ripped in two and mend with Sanderson and Moberg.
And it's not surprising. Several adaptations take liberties with a story, but this doesn't do anything for it. I'm glad I only watched this on Netflix than spent money on it.