‘Mortdecai:’ A New Deppth

By now, you’ve no doubt heard of the spectacular failure that is Mortdecai. It’s one of Johnny Depp’s biggest flops of all time, earning only $4.1 of the expected $10 million in its opening weekend. So it was with shameful, giddy schadenfreude that I purchased my ticket for this monstrosity, expecting the very worst. But I was disappointed. Mortdecai is not so horrendous I wanted to gauge my eyes out. Don’t misunderstand me — it is not good by any stretch of the imagination. But it’s not the appalling, flaming turd I was promised. It is an utterly ordinary failure.

Charlie Mortdecai is an art dealer of the snivelly, fishy, underground type, and he’s clumsy and inept in every way possible. He’s alive only because his manservant, the unusually sexually successful Jock (a way-too-committed Paul Bettany — who has cornered the mediocre art-mystery genre of the movie industry *ahem* The DaVinci Code) saves his ass over and over again. Along with his wife, Johanna (the absolutely insufferable Gwyneth Paltrow), and Detective Martland (Ewan McGregor), Mortdecai finds himself embroiled in a murder-art theft-conspiracy of epically overdone proportions.

The cartoonish character of Charlie Mortdecai is clearly a point of passion for Johnny Depp. He’s the anti hero of the book series, Don’t Point That Thing at Me by Kyril Bonfigioli. As a series of light novels, it’s probably passable for its tiny, dedicated audience (an audience that happens to include the likes of Stephen Fry). As a movie meant to start a franchise for the masses, it simply fails. This movie has been described as Depp’s attempt at his very own Austin Powers. First of all, the reason he would want one of those is lost on me. That sort of character was absolutely fantastic…in 1997. Secondly, the plot-heavy farce centering on the art world doesn’t quite have that “Marvel superhero saves the world” ring to it. It was never going to win over the general movie-going population. I could have told you that.

There are three jokes in the film, repeated incessantly and without creative evolution throughout. The first centers around the mustache Charlie Mortdecai decides to grow, which disgusts those around him, especially his wife. This is particularly perturbing because facial hair is one of, if not the most glorious aspect of human life. The second joke beaten to death concerns Jock the manservant’s ability to score some vag wherever they may be, whatever predicament in which they may be. The third is about Martland’s obsessive fancying of Mortdecai’s wife, which brings me to the Paltrow.

I am so over Gwyneth Paltrow it’s not even funny. The peculiarly perfect blank slate she provided for Margot Tenenbaum is no more! No more, I tell you. For one, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that Gwenyth Paltrow can do a British accent. Now, I may no longer be able to separate her performances in movies from the genuinely awful things she’s said about being a “working mother” and comparing receiving mean internet comments to living through war, but her presence on screen has become totally cringeworthy. I hope she gets stuck in her own GOOP. I’ll be over here, “consciously uncoupling” from all her movie roles.

In conclusion, it’s hard for me to jump on the internet bandwagon that’s so sensationalizing the failures of Mortdecai. It’s not special enough for that. It’s mediocre, just kind of boring and not very funny. But it’s no horrible thing we haven’t seen before. However, I do believe this is the time for everyone to realize exactly what Gwenyth Paltrow is. She, as a person, is exponentially more out of touch than Mortdecai.

Grade: C-

Partner highlights
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 years ago

Paltrow is in the same boat at Depp. Her movies have not been that great. She is lucky Iron Man has done well.

7 years ago

Your hatred of Gwyneth shows more about you than about her. She is the blank slate for all of your insufferable traits. Many other critics have pointed out that she is in fact the best thing about this awful movie. I get that this is your opinion but your bias is too apparent to make this review valuable for anyone.

And no, I am not Gwyneth.

The Absolute Truth
The Absolute Truth
6 years ago

Perhaps you should drop your movie review section if this part off the drop down list in May 2016

Load more