Considering you have such immense talent both behind and in front of the camera, you'd think that Mortdecai will turn out at least somewhat good, right? Wrong. This is Hollywood taking a dump in our face.
Say what you want about Johnny Depp's roles and films nowadays. You see, I think that he's still a half-decent actor, albeit if he's gone off the rails quite a bit. He just needs the right film to bring him back. However, even the 'great' Charles Mortdecai has brought this man to a lower, darker level than before... and I thought Depp's last film, Transcendence, was bad.
Things just aren't going well for our titular protagonist. He's down to his final few millions, his girlfriend Johanna (Gwenyth Paltrow) is in an upset with him, for growing a moustache to desperately try and live up to his family name. Oh, and to make things worse, he's also in trouble with the tax man. With his reliable driver Jock (Paul Bettany) at his side, he sets out trying to amend his problems. We then have MI5 head Alistair Martland (Ewan McGregor), who enlists the help of the plummy millionaire to foil a potential art fraud. The two have had a bit of a history though, having previously fought for Johanna's hand. On top of all this, to add to the chaos, we have Olivia Munn's American psychopath and some Angry Russians thrown in to the mix. Yep, that sums it up.
All the aspects are there, for a good comedy. We have a daft, OTT concept and a stellar ensemble of talent - both behind and in front of the camera - that have all proven themselves as witty and wonderful in these environments. It looks charming, the trailers showed a lot of potential. Yet, Mortdecai just doesn't hit. It's about as funny as a rock. The comedy is forced and there is only about a couple of actually funny gags - but even these aren't gut-bustingly hilarious. This is one of the cases where a film is funnier because it's bad than the actual comedy being good. The book that this is based on is the first in a trilogy. Let's just hope Lionsgate don't decide to greenlight a sequel.
As for the actors, this is just disappointing. What could've been Depp restoring some credibility in his career, is just another bad role that quickly becomes dumb and tedious. What's supposed to be such a charismatic, audacious character just comes off as boring and annoying. Paltrow doesn't contribute much to this but the presence of such a good actress in such a disgraceful film is depressing, the same goes for Munn who's very MUNNdane. And, as for McGregor, well, he's just as bad as the rest of the crew. Bettany's probably the best things about this film, except he's given nothing to work with.
Mortdecai is mortifying, more than anything. Deadpan, unfunny and just a sprawling mess, this is a a waste of time and, even more so, talent.
About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.