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Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold. Written by
Mortdecai wants to join the ranks of comedic oddball characters like Mr. Bean and Clouseau, but comes off as embarrassing
I love eccentric characters whether they are the silent Mr. Bean, the bumbling Inspector Clouseau or even the wealthy treasure hunter Scrooge McDuck. Like any good story about an outcast, they are deemed stranger then the rest of the world and tend to use that to their advantage to find a gold mine or crack the latest case in France. I too consider myself an eccentric with my oddball quirks and strange interests including amusement park history and animation. You could say that everyone has a little eccentric inside of them, but only few would dare express it as their full personality.
Cinema is a large home to this breed of person. Often you will find these people associated with comedies as they make it aware that the characters behavior is more out of place, even if the world they live in is exaggerated or romanticized. Though I would love to see a drama about an oddball, these try to explain some mental illness like that their sick or something. This is something that I wish more movies would try to cut away from and simply explain that this is your hero and he's this way just because. We get another quirky eccentric with Mortdecai.
Lord Charlie Mortdecai (played by Johnny Depp) is a pompous, wealthy art dealer who tries to portray himself as classy, comes off of a goof. He lives in a large home along with his man servant/muscle Jock Strapp (played by Paul Bettany) and his wife who he always declares as the love of his life Johanna (played by Gwyneth Paltrow). A Goya painting is stolen from a woman that was working on restoring the artwork. So this puts inspector Alistair Martland (played by Ewan McGregor) on the case. He has a thing for Johanna, so he contacts Mortdecai for his services, knowing that this would keep the eccentric busy while he get's cozy with the wife.
Mortdecai's investigations unveil that the painting was once taken by Nazis and may have codes on it that lead to a lost Swiss bank account. He also finds the painting stashed in his car, leading the police to believe that Mortdecai himself took the painting. He travels to Los Angeles to engage in an art transaction with Milton Krampf (played by Jeff Goldbloom). Johanna and Martland follow suit as they may be closer to finding the real thieves then Mortdecai is.
Johnny Depp has had some trouble in recent years with Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger and Transcendence all bombing. He was hoping that Mortdecai would be his big comeback and start a new franchise. I was hoping this would work, but this just may be his lowest point. While the character may be funny on paper, Depp's portrayal seems more like a bad improv piece then a genuine performance. I can tell he's trying his hardest, but no other actor could have saved it from it's shockingly unfunny script. It seems like Depp simply got stuck with a character that no one else wanted to play.
I have no clue for who this movie was made for. Certainly not for children as this has an R rating. Not for teenage fans of Depp that will find this too boring. Not for a mainstream adult audience that will see this as too highbrow. Not for a highbrow society as they will see this as too silly. I'm convinced that this was made just so that Johnny Depp can have fun with both Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor. Congratulations Mr. Depp, because you just got a project that is unfunny, boring, crude yet not crude, and even manage to take down two great actors with you.
I'll give this half a Goya painting out of ten. What should have been a match made in heaven, Pink Panther-like movie will only stand as an embarrassment to a really talented individual who should be ashamed of himself!
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