Mortdecai

mortdecai-movie-poster

Release: Friday, January 23, 2015

[Theater]

Written by: Eric Aronson

Directed by: David Koepp

Charlie Mortdecai has a sensitive gag reflex. He endearingly calls it a ‘sympathetic gag.’ After seeing Johnny Depp embrace an entirely new level of bizarre here, I’m pretty sure I’ve developed something similar, except mine’s not out of sympathy. I’m genuinely disgusted by how bad this movie is.

If like me at my apparently most vulnerable you were unfortunate enough to stumble into a theater only to have Johnny Depp harass your sense of humor and goodwill for slightly more than an hour and a half, you might agree that there is a huge difference between the gags featured in decent comedies and the ones provided here. Two types of gags activating two completely different parts of your body.

The apple of Charlie’s eye, his so-called great love Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow), gags in the film because she is taken aback by her man’s interest in sprouting hair on his upper lip. A fashion faux pas at the very least, the mustache might be the funniest bit of the entire film. Mortdecai is an unmitigated disaster from start to finish. If anyone’s in need of an explanation as to why I would willingly put myself through something that sounds this bad, I need only to refer you to some of the media I have included with this review. I hardly gag in response to a mustachioed Olivia Munn. No siree. Nope.

A plot synopsis is as follows: Depp aims to get to the bottom of the theft of a particular Goya painting, or something or other. As a man who dabbles in more than just facial hair and beautiful women, his character caricature is both financially and personally invested in the stolen art. His recent coming into debt compels him to find it, as does a recent visit from Inspector Alistair Martland (Ewan McGregor, the poor chap), a man who has had a thing for Johanna ever since he first laid eyes on her. (When she’s saddled with a douchebag of Mortdecai’s stature, who can blame him?) Together, the art snobs and Constable Can’t Get Any travel the world over to locate the missing Goya, thought to bear a code somewhere on it potentially leading to a stash of untold amounts of Nazi gold.

The prime suspect is — well, it doesn’t matter who that is. Essentially everyone’s a suspect, even Mortdecai but after he’s kidnapped by Russian mobsters and his very ability to reproduce is threatened in no small way — how about some electrocuted bollocks to go along with this heaping helping of what the fuck? — it’s clear that Mortdecai, in spite of himself, hasn’t actually taken the precious artwork for himself. Jock will back him up on that, too. Jock (Paul Bettany), referred to as Mortdecai’s man-servant no less than 70 million times because repeating already lame jokes always seems to do the trick with audiences, is a good bloke despite his zipper problems. That he’s always got Charlie’s back takes precedence over his incredible womanizing abilities. Believe it or not, he’s the most likable character of the whole lot. I’m still scratching my head though as to why he signed on for this one.

People are going to be gunning for Depp after this one. That much is certain. But his colorful performance actually triggered some chuckles deep within. Maybe I feel dirty for admitting that. But he’s not the overriding issue with David Koepp’s impossibly dumb movie. The real killing blow is Mortdecai‘s inability to realize it’s potential. Or to even care about it! It can’t take itself seriously for even one second. Majority of the gags do not land, save for the physical ones that land on the floor; the characters are off-the-map ridiculous (Olivia Munn as a nymphomaniac — makes sense, if you’re going to cast someone that beautiful she may as well be a sex addict too; Jeff Goldblum is in the frame for all of two minutes, but suddenly collapses after being poisoned — I’m not sure if that was in the script or just his subtle way of saying “get me out of this farce”); the humor is too low-brow and monotonous even if occasionally it strikes a nerve. Nothing scatological here, but nothing memorable either.

An adaptation of Kyril Bonfiglioli’s comedy anthology, Don’t Point That Thing At Me, this movie is elegant in its failings. It’s difficult to imagine this squeezes out any of the zest of that book series. Unfortunately this is a production so feeble in its construction and so ill-advised in its overwhelming inanity it’s highly unlikely I’ll get around to checking out the source material. For higher-quality entertainment, you’d be better off getting your balls zapped by some angry Russians.

johnny-depp-and-paul-bettany-in-mortdecai

1-0Recommendation: This was pretty bad. I . . . I don’t know if I recommend Mortdecai on any level to anyone outside of those with a penchant for s. (I think that’s what led me into this theater, along with the three other poor saps that were there with me. Here I was, thinking my taste in movies was pretty decent . . . )

Rated: R

Running Time: 107 mins.

Quoted: “I had no idea I was so deep in Her Majesty’s hole!”

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.impawards.com; http://www.imdb.com  

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41 thoughts on “Mortdecai

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  3. Oh wow!! One slice?! I don’t know if I’ve EVER seen one slice from you!! What a damn shame that this one is so wretched. I’m glad I avoided it though. Oh, also: “how about some electrocuted bollocks to go along with this heaping helping of what the fuck?” LOOOOLLLLL. Nice work, Tom! I’m very sorry for your suffering…

  4. Depp can’t seem to catch a break these days. Oh well, it happens to most actors at some point or another. Skipping this one. Thanks!

  5. Excellent review, made me laugh so much 🙂 Probably more than this movie will…Paul Bettany deserves something for this, every review I read praises him and it’s a true art to be decent in such crap.

    • Haha thanks Sati! Yeah Paul Bettany was definitely the highlight of this one, and I did enjoy him a lot actually.

  6. Yep – definitely held out no hope for this, and it seems I was right. Sounds like you wasted a lot of precious time on this my friend!

    • Fortunately the movie ran only an hour and forty seven minutes so not an incredible amount of time was lost, but yeah your’e 100% right. That was an hour and forty seven minutes I will never get back! Lol. Thanks Mr. Depp!!!!

      You were def right to stay clear of it. This was a tragedy, not a comedy. Lol!

    • Johnny’s taken himself down a few pegs, hasn’t he? I never would have pegged him as one of the best actors of these last ten years but he’s certainly been in higher prominence. Mortdecai I think will just come off as one bad decision. We’ll quickly move on from this little incident.

  7. Well at least they’re consistent, ahah. The movie looks as awful as the trailer which is already painful to watch. Depp is making a mockery out of himself, and he seems to be cashing in on his roles lately.

    • There is definitely this sense about Depp that he’s maybe taking himself a bit less seriously than he ought to. He’s a talented actor. I’m not quite sure why he voluntarily puts himself out on the stockade for all of us to mock him incessantly.

      ‘Mortdecai’ may represent a new low for him thematically, but I still believe he has the talent pool to come up with something new next year that will end up blowing us away. But maybe I’m naive. 🙂

  8. I freaking love this movie. Man, when the day was saved at the end, I was so happy that I kissed the random person next to me. I got slapped, but it didn’t matter, I did it for Charlie. I honestly don’t know how Spectre will top this.

    On a serious note, Olivia Munn, mustache or no mustache, BOMB. JUST A COMPLETE BOMBSHELL.

      • Olivia Munn is a babe, but she can’t even save this thing from being a complete smacker. I’m not yet sure if that’s a thing, but if I did just make it up, let’s assume smacker isn’t something you’d ever want to put yourself through again. God almighty Depp needs to get a new act. I still am wiling to watch him things (clearly!) but he needs to switch it up. Pronto Tonto.

        • I like that word. Keep it. Yeah, I reviewed this movie for my university’s newspaper. It is so awful that I can’t be assed to write up another review for my own site. Fuck that!

          • I’m seeing this expression pop up everywhere these days: “can’t be assed’ to do something or other. lol! It really tickles me. Such a fun expression. But I totally understand. This movie was pretty damn bleak. And by bleak I mean shit-tastic.

            • Haha I think it’s used a lot in the UK. Or those are the people online who I usually notice using it, anyways. But hey, I like it, so I’m going to use it too!

  9. That poster pretty much says it all doesn’t it? This film is an amusing trailer and nothing more by the looks of it. I feel sorry for Paul Bettany; he deserves better than this. Enjoyed the assassination Tom!

    • Oh Olivia Munn is great. And I’ll let you translate ‘great’ however you want. 😉

      As for Paul Bettany, yeah it really is a pity he’s in this. That said though, he provided some moments of levity in a film that refused to really be sensible at all.

    • I fortunately did not pay for this one. Had a free movie pass thanks to racking up enough pts on my Regal Crown Club card. But still, this I feel was a waste of that still! Haha.

    • Yeah he wasn’t the worst bit of this thing really. I know people are seeing him as a terrible performer but it’s really the ludicrous script and so much forced slapstick that bring Mortdecai down hard. In my eyes, the lady on this poster was the reason to see this one. Haha!

  10. Fine review of what is, I presume, a nearly unwatchable film.-

    I like Depp – however recently and even ging further back thab that, I think he has taken on a number of films that cast him in roles that require him to be, well, ah…so very theatrical.

    And as we all know – ‘theatrical’ includes the term ‘hammy’.

    I have to go all the way back to 2010 for the woeful The Tourist to find a Depp film that I saw at a movie house.

    I was hoping that the thought of watching more of Olivia Munn might be an alternate lure and incentive to see his movie – but in your own words – she wasn’t featured enough –

    I’ll wait for the Netflix version.

    • Yeah I was willing to sit through a movie that was incessantly dumb from beginning to end, but it botched basically every element I was looking forward to. That was what really pushed me over the edge here. I know a lot of people are on Depp’s case about recycling the same characters, but we can’t pretend he’s the only one who does this. Perhaps he does this more than most, and b/c he’s in such high prominence we notice it more.

      I’m of the mind that as long as he’s enjoying his own, admittedly bizarre career, then that’s all that matters. We in the audience have chosen to go see his movies. We were the ones who made that decision. I feel as though I was pretty harsh in this review, but the potential was there for this to be better. Depp wasn’t the worst part of this, not for me at least.

      I think waiting to watch this on Netflix is a smart decision Mike. 🙂

    • Probably will be soon. It’s a shame. I still like him. He seems to enjoy what he does. That’s the explanation I can come up with as to why he signed up for this garbage.

  11. You are a brave soul. This thing reeked of Johnny Depp Bomb from the start. I guess Depp will take ANY role as long as they pay his fee. No discernment. No thought. No ambition.

    • Like I’ve said to several others, it’s not Depp that brought this one down so much. I mean, he’s been better. But I enjoyed his Charlie Mortdecai even if he is a pretty big scumbag. Hahah. I just don’t know what he’s thinking signing up for scripts that are THIS poor. The movie surrounding him is worse. But I suppose anyobne who can’t abide Depp’s idiosyncrasies probably aren’t going to bother looking deeper than that. Understandably so.

    • I can completely understand man. I do still enjoy him, he always seems to be having fun with his work which is really paramount to what he’s involved with professionally. But I do not understand his recent job choices. I also don’t understand why David Koepp was so insistent on making Mortdecai relentlessly stupid. It just was….ugh…..I don’t know

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