Classic Movie Reviews

Classic Review: Mortdecai (2015)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Mortdecai” which originally appeared here.

Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is a charismatic British, shady art dealer. He unfortunately suffers from a lack of money to support his and his wife Johanna’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) lavish lifestyle. When his old friend and an agent in MI5, Alistair Maitland (Ewan McGregor), comes to ask for his assistance in finding a missing painting, he accepts. What he doesn’t know is that he is not the only one who covets the painting as an American heiress (Olivia Munn) and a revolutionary also wants it for themselves. They want it because it is rumored to contain a secret code to a bank account containing Nazi gold.

I’ve known about this film ever since it was released in January of this year. I’ve also been avoiding it until now because of its reputation of being a bad film. Being close to the end of the year, I thought I would be thorough and see this film for myself. This may not come as much of a surprise but this film is as bad as they say. Let’s start with Johnny Depp. He has played many different characters in his career, with the most famous ones being Captain Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands. I guess they thought they can elevate the character of Charlie Mortdecai to their level but unfortunately they don’t come remotely close to doing that. He is simply an annoying British caricature. I believe they were trying to make it funny by him acting snobby, mostly during interactions with other characters, and weak by constantly hiding behind his stronger-looking bodyguard/man-servant Jock (Paul Bettany). It just didn’t work because it just wan’t funny. There’s also a subplot involving Alistair having a crush on Johanna but its merely implied and was never fully explored. What also wasn’t funny was the juxtaposition between Jock’s duties. He’s a man who kicks ass and also cooks and cleans. There’s also some slapstick which just came across as stupid. There’s supposedly a story here about finding a stolen painting but it takes so many turns and adds a bunch of extraneous characters but I quickly lost interest due to sheer boredom. I probably wouldn’t have been as bored if the actors didn’t look as bored and disinterested on screen. There wasn’t much chemistry to be had either, especially between Depp and Paltrow as they seemed the most disinterested through their performances. It would definitely had helped if their accents weren’t so bad. What was arguably as bad as the accents was the cringe-worthy dialogue where is evident that they were trying to make it funny but it just wasn’t. Despite how bad as I have made it out to be, it’s not the worst film I’ve seen. When it comes to a score, anything I see from now on will be compared to Fantastic Four. That one is in a league of its own.

Score: 4.5/10

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  1. Depp was okay in this (at least was committed to the role throughout), but the movie itself was “meh” and pretty forgetful.