Mortdecai (2015)

Mortdecai poster.jpgDavid Koepp, I moustache you a question: What the hell were you thinking?

Director: David Koepp
Running Time: 107 Minutes
Starring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Goldblum, Olivia Munn

A curious thing has been happening of late, whenever a new film starring Johnny Depp is released. A hatred is seemingly generated, often feeling like a result of people jumping on the bandwagon, disliking the actor more than the actual film. But the unfortunate reality settles in upon seeing the film, that the general dislike is actually justified.

The latest in a line of Depp starring misfires, he plays Charlie Mortdecai, a self-serving, bigoted buffoon of an art dealer. The plot centres around him bumbling across dealings that involve MI5, angry Russians and an international terrorist, all while trying to locate a missing painting that contains a code that leads to lost Nazi gold.

David Koepp attempts to turn this adventure into something stylish and fun with an array of detours, not a million miles away from The Grand Budapest Hotel. Unfortunately, his attempts leave the overall attempt without anything resembling comedy, hampered by a script largely reliant on a by the numbers plot and unlikable characters we're supposed to be rooting for. There's also something about Russians who are involved with the plot, which randomly pops up as much as it easily disappears.

His impersonation of a Tiger needed work

Depp sleepwalks through the titular role, playing a xenophobic clown, who's self-serving to the point it's questionable why we should actually care for him. Gwyneth Paltrow leaves little impression as Johanna, Charlie's wife who's chief traits are being insulting and domineering. This reaches a point where she contemplates an affair, only to disregard the idea upon knowing it would be kept a secret from her husband. Paul Bettany does the best he can as Jock, the grotty manservant whose purpose seems to be getting abused by his employer, and sleeping with an array of nameless women.

What's most unfortunate is how Mark Ronson and Jeff Zanelli's score builds up a promise of a jaunty, fun caper, something the overall film fails to achieve.

There isn't much in Mortdecai that's actually deserving of praise. The characters lack in any likeable traits, the humor isn't there and the proceedings manage to be eye-rollingly dull. All that can be taken away from this film is the staggering amount of importance placed upon moustaches.


Myerla said…
Sounds like the standard January fodder that studios shove into the January months (excluding Best Picture nominee films released in these months in the UK).

The thing about Depp is he is now playing a similar role again and again, Getting boring Johnny...
James Rodrigues said…
Agreed. January for the UK seems to be Awards season, while the US get crap heaped upon them.

I can agree with that, he needs something different to revitalize his career from these similar, dull performances.