When it comes down to it Mortdecai is just a bad movie. None of the jokes worked and Johnny Depp’s latest outlandish performance is no longer charming and the respectable supporting cast is completely wasted. This is not even worth a rental. As for the Blu-ray, the bonus material is basic while the video/audio transfers are more than respectable.
Genre(s)s: Crime, Comedy
Lionsgate | R – 107 min. – $19.99 | May 12, 2015
THE MOVIE – 1.5/5
There are times while I watch certain movies I wonder how it even got green-lighted. Mortdecai is one such film: it’s a lifeless, humorless and ultimately a chore to get through that, doing some research, unsurprisingly found out it was a passion project for Johnny Depp.
Mortdecai, based on a relatively obscure 1973 novel entitled “Don’t Point That Thing At Me,” stars Depp as the title character, art dealer Charlie Mordecai, an odd fellow obsessed with a newly grown mustache and known scoundrel around the world. He and his wife, Johanna (GWYNETH PALTROW), are in financial straits, owing over 8 million pounds in back taxes, and after an art restorer is murdered and the painting stolen, by a thief named Emil (JONNY PASVOLSKY) who has the painting stolen himself, he is approached by MI5 Inspector Martland (EWAN MCGREGOR) – who so happens to be in love with Johanna dating back to college – to recover said painting.
Mordecai reluctantly accepts, with a 10% recovery fee, as he and his manservant, as well as sexual deviant (screwing any hot woman he comes across) and apparently masochist considering the crap Mordecai puts him through, Jock (PAUL BETTANY) take off on a globe-trotting adventure. His investigation goes through previous contacts who aren’t too keen on helping considering how much Mortdecai had screwed others from an art aficionado and an art smuggler. In the meantime, Emil is tracking Mordecai believing he has the painting marking trouble for the mustache and masochist.
Their info leads the pair around the world from Russia, where Mortdecai has an encounter with a Russian gangster, back to London and then off to Los Angeles to meet Milton Krampf (JEFF GOLDBLUM) who has bought Mort’s prized Rolls Royce. While there, we meet Milton’s nymphomaniac daughter Georgina (OLIVIA MUNN) and hot on the trail is Emil. Meanwhile, back home, Martland continues his pursuit of Johanna while she has launched her own investigation to recover the painting.
There’s no doubt this is a dumb movie. However, I don’t mind dumb comedies but when it’s not funny, it’s painful to watch. I always wonder how a movie like Mortdecai could get financed but upon research it shouldn’t have come to a surprise that this was a passion (vanity) project for Johnny Depp and served as a way to portray another “colorful” character but his schtick has become tiresome and when the comedy doesn’t work, it becomes painful to watch.
While Depp’s outlandish character didn’t pan out, the supporting cast isn’t much better in far more ‘normal’ roles. Gwyneth Paltrow plays, well, Gwyneth Paltrow and has zero chemistry with Depp; Ewan McGregor is wasted as, I guess, a foil(?); Jeff Goldblum is more or less a cameo appearance unfortunately; and Olivia Munn is no longer recognizable and doesn’t offer much anyway. I will say Paul Bettany might be the best thing and considering he isn’t exactly known for his physical comedy, he doesn’t do a half bad job.
Mortdecai was helmed by David Koepp reuniting with Depp as they worked together on the suspense/thriller Secret Window. Not sure how good, or bad, of a director Koepp is but it’s apparent that he probably should stay away from comedy. Of course, it doesn’t help that the screenplay adaptation didn’t provide much material to provide for comedy but it is apparent that the timing was off throughout the entire film beginning with the opening which set up the tone that would remain for the duration of the picture.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5
This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Stolen Moments: On the Set of Mortdecai (16:34; HD) – This is a behind-the-scenes featurette that includes interviews with Depp and others as they describe the story and characters.
The Art of Noise: Making Music for Mortdecai (12:25; HD) provides insight into the score by Geoff Zanelli.
Teaser Trailer (1:23; HD)
Theatrical Trailer (2:33; HD)
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Nightcrawler sleazes onto Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Detail levels are sharp and colors are, as expected, a bit more muted even for the well-lit scenes and while there is some graininess for the darker shots, it’s nothing overabundant or distracting.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The disc surprisingly comes with a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio track. Considering the bulk of the movie is comedy, though there are a few action-oriented scenes, the number of channels is overkill but does provide for crisp and clear dialogue levels and for those action scenes, it provides great depth. Having said that, not sure why a movie like this gets 7 channels while others that would benefit from the extra channels do not…
OVERALL – 2.0/5
Overall, when it comes down to it Mortdecai is just a bad movie. None of the jokes worked and Johnny Depp’s latest outlandish performance is no longer charming and the respectable supporting cast is completely wasted. This is not even worth a rental. As for the Blu-ray, the bonus material is basic while the video/audio transfers are more than respectable.
Brian Oliver aka The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.