Director: David Koepp
Writer: Eric Aronson
Based on: Kyril Bonfiglioli‘s books
Cast: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Jeff Goldblum
Seen on: 01.02.2015
Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is an art dealer not entirely against shady dealings, at least as long as he’s protected by his man servant Jock (Paul Bettany). Recently, Charlie and his wife Joanna (Gwyneth Paltrow) have fallen into debt, so when MI5 agent Alistair Martland (Ewan McGregor) asks Charlie for help with a case, Charlie accepts in the hope of making some money and despite the fact that Alistair has been in love with Joanna for years and therefore has it out for Charlie himself. Quickly Charlie finds out that the case might not be as straightforward a murder and theft as it seems at first.
I saw Mortdecai right after The Imitation Game and before Mortdecai I would have thought that The Imitation Game would turn out to be the worst film of the night. I was wrong. I didn’t expect much from Mortdecai, but even those expectations were too high.
As I said, I was prepared for the film to be stupid. I had packed alcohol, steeled my mind for inaneness and I was in – mostly because of Paul Bettany, but also because of the rest of the cast. But unfortunately the level of stupidity that this films reaches were far below everything I expected – and that is saying something.
For a while there I thought that I might have discovered some intelligence: it seemed that among all the slapstick, we would uncover a story that is ultimately how Charlie’s aristocracy and money buys him a place in the world for which his manservant and his wife have to work, while he reaps all the benefits, despite only getting in the way. But even that small glimmer of hope was destroyed when at the end, Charlie somehow saves not only Jock, but the day.
Speaking of Jock – as much as I understand why women would throw themselves at Paul Bettany, the eternal parade of nameless women in their underwear who get treated with nothing but disdain in the entire film, really didn’t help. That Joanna is basically the opposite of them: flirting but sexually unavailable, until she figures you’re ready for a reward, doesn’t make it better, either. And let’s not even talk about sex addict Georgina (Olivia Munn).
Johnny Depp’s overblown performance in this overblown script was the final nail in the coffin of Mortdecai. Not even Jeff Goldblum’s wonderful, brilliant, amazing cameo could save it all.