Mortdecai full movie review - Mortdecai
Far be it from me to jump hastily on the negativity bandwagon like some ravenous nitpicking whiny movie critic, but by Jove this movie is sh*t.
Yet another adaptation of a novel I've never heard of but the general premise is very familiar. Whether or not this film is close to the original source material I don't really know, but what Koepp offers here is Quintessentially a very British affair that has clearly been lifted from various sources. British characters from the mid 60's era (the 'Carry On' franchise), possibly a dabble of 'The Pink Panther' franchise (American movie based around stereotypical continentals), maybe a hint of Basil Fawlty and the 'Fawlty Towers' franchise (in this movie at least, the books turned up before that TV series) and of course the one and only British gent Terry-Thomas.
Well lets not beat around the bush here the author of these original stories has presumably based his main character on Terry-Thomas. The first lines of dialog spoken by Depp in this movie immediately made think this was the official Terry-Thomas movie...action movie. You can quite clearly tell Depp is doing his best pompous aristocratic British accent which just happens to kinda sound like an attempt at Terry-Thomas. Of course he also looks like a typically well groomed, old fashioned dapper, debonair gentlemanly toff with his posh suits, slick back hair and walking cane. The odd thing is a lot of the plot and consequent jokes revolve around his facial hair, its like a character.
The strange thing is I'm not overly sure what the point of his tash was, it seems to somehow be important to his character but never really adds anything to his character or the plot. All we know is his wife played by Paltrow hates it and makes her gag, which in turn makes Depp's Mortdecai gag also. This is one of the main visual jokes in the movie, its repeated often and is played up as though it were a stroke of comedic genius...which it most certainly isn't. The whole truth of the matter is Johnny Depp spends the entire movie prancing about trying his best with a John Cleese impression with physical comedy whilst at the same time trying his best to be funny with childish facial expressions. His one key weapon is a nasal/back of the throat grunt which he often lets out in frustration, that with plenty of tash stroking, raised eyebrows and in general some of the most wussy, namby pamby, wishy-washy slapstick ever.
There's nothing wrong with a good bit of slapstick of course, it can be very clever and very difficult to pull off. This on the other hand is the most childish crapola ever! there is literately nothing going on in this movie other than infantile nonsense of the highest order. Its not funny nonsense either, its painfully bad, awkwardly unfunny and genuinely makes the cast look ridiculous, I felt embarrassed watching them at times, I actually felt bad for the cast. Other than terrible physical comedy the action is completely nondescript, its utterly garbage and not even remotely exciting or thrilling. Never at any point do you feel a rush of adrenaline fearing for any characters life or getting sweaty palms over a solid stunt. The car chases are clearly slow, the fights are clearly fake, the bad guys are laughable, the stunts are average at best and what's more...the whole thing is so so boring!!
Its all basically about stealing a valuable painting or trying to recover it from thieves...whatever. I totally zoned out for the most of it because it simply wasn't interesting in the slightest. You are literately watching Depp mincing around trying his best to make us believe he was the right casting choice (we all know he wants to be European more than anything so he's lapping it up). Paltrow does nothing, McGregor does nothing and Bettany plays some clichéd cockney tough guy who every now and then loses his cockney accent. Bettany's character babysits Depp's character so whilst Depp runs around like a fairy Bettany is beating bad guys up in a U rating kind of way.
Some of the locations are lavish and lovely looking, the movie on the whole is very glossy and slick, costumes are obviously highly expensive and tailor made and of course the cars are super duper. Its clearly trying to be a cross between 'The Pink Panther' with a dash of James Bond and maybe 'The Avengers' (60's version). The lead character as said is clearly a Terry-Thomas type chap who has bumbling inept Inspector Clouseau tendencies. Every now and then they might chuck out the odd swear word or adult sexual double entendre to try and spice things up a bit for the grown ups but then straight away the movie loses its target audience, which I'm guessing is youngsters?
The whole thing is absolutely dreadful from start to finish, there wasn't really any highlight I could think of. Its like you go back in time watching this, it feels like an early 90's movie. Honesty had this come out in the 90's I reckon it would have done OK, the entire movie is so dated, so out of touch with modern cinema even for a bad movie. What's worse and very evident is this was a factory line Hollywood cookie cutter product which was intended to kick start a franchise. Everything about it screams franchise bait, its sickening to watch. This is also proof that Mr Depp is in fact quite a limited actor who has actually been surviving off his quirky, eccentric performances for too long. His shtick has been well and truly milked and exhausted. Change your game Depp, you can't keep rolling out that one performance anymore.