‘Mortdecai’ Review Roundup: Critics Give Action-Adventure Comedy Poor Notices
Mortdecai, starring Johnny Depp as the titular crooked art dealer, leans into its campy, throwback conceit with relish – though most critics wish it hadn’t.
Depps’ Mortdecai has the trappings of riches, but little of the wealth to sustain it. In a last ditch effort to make some money to keep himself and his posh wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) financially afloat, he goes on an ill-advised mission to track down a stolen painting that contains a code that will lead him to a loot of Nazi gold.
‘Mortdecai’ Review Roundup
The over-the-top nature of Mortdecai is a throwback to films of a bygone era, intentionally implausible and filled with pratfalls and gimmicky quirks of personality. Instead of hitting the sweet spot that would both encourage nostalgia and usher the genre into the modern era, Mortdecai – according to the majority of critics – is a disappointment that missed the mark.
“Mortdecai is creeping into theaters with the flushed shame of a debutante who expects to be pelted with tomatoes. It’s a pity. In 1965, Mortdecai would be the hit of the year. Director David Koepp whips through this pop-colored caper about crooked art dealer Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp as though if the dialogue speeds fast enough, the entire film can DeLorean back five decades to where it belongs.” – Ann Nicholson, Village Voice
“The movie is too odd and randy to play for kids on an Austin Powers level, and too broad to really work as farce. But Depp, god bless him, fully commits, and finds a few genuinely funny moments amidst all the outsize mugging and mild sociopathy. Go if you’re a raging Anglophile with an afternoon to burn or you just love Depp, even at his hammiest. Otherwise, don’t point this thing at you.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
Mortdecai is an anachronistic mess that never succeeds in re-creating the breezy tone or snappy rhythm of the classic caper movies that it aims to pastiche. Despite a heavyweight cast and the solid directing skills of A-list screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Panic Room, Spider-Man), this charmless farce ends up as another black mark on Depp’s recent track record of patchy pet projects.” – Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter
“It’s hard to say exactly who the audience is for the zany curio “Mortdecai.” But those who do find their way into this supremely silly action-mystery caper are in for a few grins if not laughs thanks largely to the deft — and daft — performance of Johnny Depp in the title role.” – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
Mortdecai, rated R, is currently in wide release.