Friday, February 6, 2015

Movie Review ... Mortdecai


mortdecai-poster-1There is nothing worse than seeing a comedy struggling for laughs.  Desperately pulling gags out of thin air is painful to watch and is something which ‘Mortdecai’ does much.  Despite an all-star cast and high production values, this mish-mash of ‘Pink Panther’/’Austin Powers’ slapstick quickly falls apart.  Although comedy can be subjective, some mirth is needed for viewers to appreciate.  ‘Mortdecai’ has few and quickly plunges over a comedic cliff with little chance of revival.

Charles Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is an impish British cad of the highest order.  Art dealer and con-man, his latest mission finds him searching for a lost painting.  Having the location to a horde of Nazi gold, the portrait is something Mortdecai must find.  Unfortunately the Russian mafia, MI5 and his interfering wife Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow) are just as eager. Juggling these distractions, Mortdecai goes to great lengths to obtain his cherished prize.

‘Mortdecai’s’ biggest weakness is the central character.  A direct clone of ‘Pink Panther’s Inspector Clouseau, Mortdecai quickly becomes irritating.  The stiff-upper lip ‘jolly good show’ caricature Depp relies upon swiftly becomes tiresome.  In small doses it is bearable but extended over movie-length it fails to service a jumbled plot.  Depp and cast wildly over-play their roles with nothing for the scatter-shot humour to grab onto. 

Often the screenplay runs away from the performers.  Despite amusing moments, director David Koepp fails to keep the struggling story under control.  It isn’t any wonder the cast ham it up for all its worth.  Despite many faults, ‘Mortdecai’ has a great visual style with flair gone into establishing the world-wide hunt for the painting.  This gives the movie some much needed scale even if the often bawdy humour derives from the vaults of antiquity.

Although there have been far worse films than ‘Mortdecai’, it still doesn’t make it any good.  Lumbered with a confused, rambling story-line and over the top acting, it is a mis-fire that all involved should avoid if they want future careers.

  Mortdecai 002

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  3

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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