Directed by David Koepp.
Starring Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn and Jeff Goldblum.
Juggling angry Russians, the British Mi5, and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai races to recover a stolen painting rumoured to contain a code that leads to lost Nazi gold.
When going to see a movie like Mortdecai it’s best to suspend belief and just go where the film takes you. It’s a mish-mash of slapstick humour with over the top English accents, comic violence and romance. It’s by no means a masterpiece of comedy or acting, but it is an easily watchable piece of mindless fun.
Following the escapades of art dealer/rogue Charlie Mortdecai (Depp), this film adventure sees him recruited by a pompous MI5 agent (McGregor) to chase down a priceless painting. Based on the novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli, Charlie Mortdecai is a preposterous character that you’ll either enjoy watching or absolutely loath. Johnny Depp puts on a grating English accent but I enjoyed watching him hamming it up on the screen, not least because it seemed like all the cast were just having a bit of fun. Isn’t that what you fancy from a film every now and then?
The script is lazily written and a recurring joke about Mortdecai’s moustache starts out as amusing but by the final credits does become annoying. Same can be said for the unrequited love that McGregor’s MI5 agent has for Mortdecai’s wife – Gwyneth Paltrow doing the posh Brit voice that somehow bagged her an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. It seems as if screenwriter Eric Aronson has had all these great ideas but has somehow been unable to pull it all together.
That’s not to say that parts of Mortdecai aren’t funny. Paul Bettany puts on a cockney accent as man servant Jock and steals every scene he’s in. Mortdecai’s hapless efforts aren’t laugh out loud funny but you will have a small chuckle to yourself. It does seem that the cast had more fun making the film then the audience will have watching it. However, in this day and age with diva demands and tensions between co-stars, it’s refreshing to see a bunch of A-listers having a laugh.
Mortdecai isn’t a memorable film but it is a good piece of mindless entertainment. Johnny Depp’s career has faltered recently, but with crime drama Black Mass in post-production, we should hopefully get to see him on fine dramatic form once again. He embodies Charlie Mortdecai and brings the hapless hero to the screen with a spring in his step and a moustache shaped to perfection. It’s just a shame that the script doesn’t match up the all start cast.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Helen Murdoch is a freelance writer – Follow me on Twitter