‘Mortdecai’ DVD Review: Johnny Depp And Gwyneth Paltrow Star In This Comedic Dud
Mortdecai stars Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean), Gwyneth Paltrow (The Royal Tenenbaums) and Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) create great chemistry on screen, but their talents seem to be wasted on such a dud of a movie.
Mortdecai is funny in places. I will be honest and say I chuckled here and there. However, at the end of the film I realized that this wasn’t a ‘who done it’ film but a film about how to survive a marriage, in the most weirdly, awkward way ever.
Depp stars as Mortdecai, an art dealer who is in over his head in debt and seeking a way out with help from his loving yet demanding wife, Johanna (Paltrow). He is helped by his manservant Jock Strapp (Paul Bettany) out of a sticky situation in Hong Kong when a painting by Francisco Goya goes missing and the restorer killed in the process of restoring it. Mortdecai agrees to help find the thief and murderer – for a price, of course. Car chases and gun shots ensue and Mortdecai finds himself trying to find clues, stay alive, keep his wife away from Inspector Martland (McGregor), and try not to kill his trusted manservant in the process.
As Charles Mortdecai, Depp gives a typical performance and doesn’t stray far from the flamboyance found in his previous films. Paltrow could easily have been performing across from Jack Black or Josh Gad in her role as Johanna. She isn’t easily intimidated and sticks fairly close to her previous strickly business roles as well, and McGregor isn’t a highlight either. With that said, my favorite character of the film had to be Bettany as Jock Strapp. His role seemed the most realistic and most of the chuckles I was able to muster where from his scenes trying to fight bad guys and deal with Mortdecai’s silly antics. Along with Bettany, Olivia Munn (Magic Mike) and Jeff Goldblum (The Grand Budapest Hotel) are nice additions, but even they can’t up the ante on a film destined to be a dud.
The premise of Mortdecai is overused and underdone. The culprit is found way to easily, and, honestly, we almost saw it coming. There weren’t enough thrills and moments of “oh my” to keep the audience interested. The focus on Mortdecai’s mustache was extremely unnecessary and I started to think this entire film was made just so fun could be poked at American hipsters with man buns and goatees. They could have simply gone on twitter for that.
Unless you are just a HUGE fan of Paltrow, McGregor, Bettany, or Munn, watching Mortdecai is unnecessary, and the special features for this DVD aren’t worth it either. There are plenty of other criminally funny comedies worth the watch (22 Jump Street, Let’s Be Cops, The Interview, Kingsman: The Secret Service) and if you’re a fan of Depp just circle back to some of his previous films while you wait on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales to hit theaters in 2017; I heard Into the Woods was good.