For No Good Reason

FOR NO GOOD REASON directed by Charlie.

FOR NO GOOD REASON directed by Charlie Paul. A Mongrel Media release. 90 minutes. Opens Friday (May 16). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN

For No Good Reason positions itself as a documentary about British illustrator (and NOW cover artist) Ralph Steadman, whose instantly recognizable style was the perfect accompaniment to Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism in the glory days of Rolling Stone magazine.

But director Charlie Paul and ostensible host Johnny Depp spend far too much time pumping the genial artist for stories of Thompson’s demented crusades (illustrated by animated versions of Steadman’s drawings and often narrated by Depp as Thompson), paying not nearly enough attention to the man in front of them.

A sequence in which Steadman makes a lovely drawing of his dog – defining musculature through splotches of ink and creating personality in sharp little lines – is a fascinating window into his process.

The film could have done with more of that and fewer video clips of Thompson acting out.

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