Mortdecai is a comedy film which is directed by David Koepp who some may know for his work on films such as Ghost Town (2008) or Secret Window (2004). Mortdecai stars Johnny Depp who has worked with Koepp in the past for the Secret Window film and is again in this one. Mortdecai also stars Gwenyth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn and Ewan McGregor.
Mortdecai’s plot revolves primarily around its main character of Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) who is this moustache wearing, art loving millionaire. However not all is good in Mortdecai’s world as he owes quite a lot of money in unpaid taxes and is getting closer and closer by the day to insolvency. When a painting goes missing in London an agent from Mi5 named Martland (Ewan McGregor) hires Mortdecai to find the painting and if Mortdecai does he will get a finders fee for it that will help him pay his bills. But Mortdecai isn’t the only one looking for the painting and will have to dodge some dangerous Russian’s and other parties who are interested in getting the painting for themselves. He must also watch out for Martland who is in love with his wife Johanna (Gwenyth Paltrow) and is trying to drive their marriage apart.
Mortdecai is a strange comedy in that most of it is reliant on the funny looking moustache on Johnny Depp’s face and other moustache wearing characters. I don’t know if it’s the right kind of humour because it never really made me laugh and I think it’s because even though the moustache looks funny on a person, it doesn’t mean it’s laugh out loud funny. I think that’s the main issue I have with the film, it’s got a lot of silly stuff that looks funny but isn’t really laughable, it’s just a funny looking film and I feel that’s why most of it is quite silly and lame for the most part. Looking funny and being funny is not the same thing. But it does have a few moments where I heard people in the cinema and even myself chuckling here and there. But not so much so that I couldn’t handle it. Just chuckles at some of the silliness.
I don’t mind the performances from the actors in the film. Johnny Depp in his portrayal of Mortdecai looks really funny and plays one of the most unlikable characters I’ve seen on screen in recent memories. I don’t know if you could say it’s brave for someone to play Mortdecai or just stupid but somehow I don’t really mind watching the character. Mortdecai is just silly but it’s hard to feel sorry for his character because he is utterly hopeless at everything a person could do.
Other actors are entertaining with their characters and have their moments here and there. Gwenyth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor share quite a lot of awkward scenes together as Ewan McGregor’s Martland constantly tries to seduce her even though he is clearly in some type of friend zone hell. Olivia Munn is kind of funny in her role but really is only in the film shortly. While Paul Bettany as Jock is a silly body guard character who protects Mortdecai from the many fights he gets into. I could not understand why Jock is loyal to Mortdecai the whole way through, it’s as if he doesn’t question a thing Mortdecai does. Maybe he’s just paid well, I’m not sure but he comes accross as really stupid. I guess everyone just does for some reason and the acting isn’t really a problem, they all play these strange characters. I think the problem probably comes from the script and the directing.
The storyline as a whole is very predictable, yet at times I had no idea what Mortdecai was talking about at all. It seemed a bit of a mess really and as the film traveled from plot point to plot point until it reaches its end it didn’t get any better. I’m not sure why David Koepp chose this silly tone for the film or why it was made the way it was. The whole movie is just silly and I can’t get around that point no matter how hard I try to think of it in a good way. The only good thing I can think about Mortdecai is that the detective story of Mortdecai kind of reminded me of the Peter Sellers Pink Panther films which were all very silly but entertaining. While Mortdecai is silly as well there is just something about it that just makes it not as good as those Pink Panther films, the tone just wasn’t right and the characters were just wrong really.
I try to think of good points to include in my reviews and also some negatives but it’s very hard to find what was good in Mortdecai. I guess I did like the crazy characters that these actors were playing because they all look funny. But I really wished more was done with them on screen. It’s got a good cast of actors who were all wasted in a film with a messy plot and funny tone that just ended up making everyone look silly.
Overall Mortdecai is a film some may wish to see if they really are fans of the actors involved in the film. But for everyone else I feel they will just find it to be really silly and quite ridiculous at many points throughout it. Maybe Mortdecai could have been something great if it was worked on in the right way because it’s not like it’s got the worst plot and ideas. I just think they were presented on screen in the wrong way which left me thinking it was just silly from the beginning all the way to the end.