In the first frames of The Libertine, Laurence Dunmore’s adaptation of Stephen Jeffrey’s play about John Wilmot, the notoriously debauched Second Earl of Rochester, a ghoulish Johnny Depp emerges out of a grain-maze of candlelight. A just-barely-legible spectre of ink-pool eyes and equally wet, black lips, Wilmot very proudly announces, “You will not like me.” Critics have pounced on this line, and it’s not hard to see it as a tantalizing touchstone for a teardown. But by the end of the film, that line struck me less as a blatant attention grabber on the part of the screenwriter, than emblematic of the kind of indulgent, verbal game playing at which Wilmot, as drawn throughout the film, excels. It’s a puzzle as to why no one is talking about the rest of the prologue, particularly the part where he informs the men on the opposite side of the screen that he wants them to “shag with my avuncular image in your gonads.” What's not to like?