Monday, February 02, 2015




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 Lionsgate UK

Everything in this scene looks British except for one. Guess which one it is? ©Lionsgate


So MORTDECAI, the first major role for the eclectic Johnny Depp of 2015 and the first since I believe TRANSCENDENCE (2014), I think. So in this one Johnny Depp again puts on another attempt at an English accent but one from the foppish upper-class sort of the British gentry. This movie is based off a series of comic thriller novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli that apparently has a cult following. So what is Mr Depp into in this one?

Well, as intriguing and interesting as the synopsis up there sounds and the trailer looks, here's what I remember of it. It opens in Hong Kong where you find Mortdecai facing off with a Mr Fang and his thugs on either side. They're in a fancy restaurant and the reason for the meeting? Well, Mortdecai has something that Mr Fang is interested in buying, a very old porcelain vase. But the deal doesn't go well, Mortdecai has apparently cheated Mr Fang in their previous deal and now Mr Fang wants the vase for free and as well as a piece of Mortdecai. He'll settle for a finger. Mortdecai escapes of course with the help of his manservant/butler Jock as well as his own Clouseau-esque fumblings.

It's nice to see Ewan McGregor on the big screen. Unfortunately it has to be this movie. ©Lionsgate

After their escape the head back to Britain where we also find out that Mr Mortdecai is on the edge of bankruptcy and that his wife has no idea that he's grown a somewhat ridiculous mustache. Threatened with insolvency Johanna tells him he needs to think about selling some of the things in the house. Mortdecai is of course in denial of their situation and believes he can figure something out. Meanwhile, in another part of England a professional art restorer is murdered while working on a painting in her home. The painting she's working is stolen but just as the murderer/thief makes his escape he's beaned on his head and is knocked out. The painting he's stolen is in turn stolen from him. 

This brings Inspector Alistair Martland of MI5, played by Ewan McGregor, into the picture. Why the MI5? Apparently, the painting was in the eye of a well known terrorist named Emil Strago. Seeing as how Mortdecai is pretty well known in the underground art scene as someone who is capable of locating what you want, Martland visits Mortdecai. Mortdecai has no love for Martland. Why? You see, Martland has been in love with Johanna since their days in college and has been waiting in the eaves to make his entrance into Johanna's life again. This does not sit well with Mortdecai. Anyway, Martland offers him an olive branch of sorts because of the murder case he has, find the painting before Strago and return it to Martland and the British government will foot all his bills during the case, he'll receive a finders fee and all his debts will be cancelled. Of course Mortdecai jumps at this offer.

So apparently Ms Paltrow's character is disgusted by Mortdecai's mustache. I didn't think it looked good either. ©Lionsgate

So off Mortdecai goes to visit Sir Graham an art aficionado and insider to see if he knows anything interesting about the murder. That meeting gives him little so he goes off to his next stop an art smuggler named Spinoza who is also his car mechanic. When he gets there all Spinoza has to say to him is how badly he's treated his Rolls Royce Silver Shadow just before he gets shot dead. What follows is an escape scene where Mortdecai fumbles and bumbles throughout, Jock gets shot by Mortdecai and then rammed into when Mortdecai puts the car in reverse instead of forward. Meanwhile, Johanna is doing a little investigation of herself into the matter after overhearing Mortdecai and Martland's meeting. She finds out that the stolen painting was originally taken by a British soldier during World War II from a Nazi stash and apparently has a Swiss Bank account number on the back which may contain a significant amount Nazi gold.

During his little bout with Emil at Spinoza's workshop he finds out that the painting may be stashed in his own car but he can't do much about it as he's kidnapped by a couple of Russians and taken to Russia. In Russia he meets with Romanov who is also interested in buying the stolen painting and believes that Mortdecai has it, he's even willing to electrocute Mortdecai's testicles in order to obtain the painting. Of course Mortdecai escapes with the help of Jock who hitchhiked his way to Russia in the wheel mechanism of the plane that Mortdecai was taken on.

Several times in this film you hear Mortdecai say it's not the first time he's shot Jock. A sane person would quit. Jock is not sane. ©Lionsgate

Back now in Britain he's met by Martland at the airport who tells him he now needs to go to California to meet Milton Krampf another art buyer interested in the stolen painting. He is to go there on the pretext of selling his Rolls Royce to him while trying to uncover the reason for Krampf's interest in buying the painting. So off he goes to California. In California he meets Krampf played by Jeff Goldblum who immediately goes into the Rolls Royce and removes one of the panels in the roof lining and extracts the stolen painting. Mortdecai is of course totally surprised. He also meets and is immediately seduced by Krampf's nymphomaniac daughter.

Happy that he finally has the painting, Krampf organizes a party that very evening to show off the painting. Mortdecai and Jock decide that they should steal the painting during the party. Their mission of course doesn't go smoothly as Mortdecai finds Krampf dead and the painting gone. He also finds out that Strago is also there and that he has taken the painting and also that Krampf's daughter is in cahoots with Strago. Surprisingly Johanna and Martland have also shown up. They all end up in a room and things go haywire. Strago escapes with Georgina Krampf right behind him and Mortdecai, Jock, Martland and Johanna all end up in the Rolls Royce chasing them.

Jock as a manservant either owes a life debt to Mortdecai or there's another more ridiculous reason for him to hang around Mortdecai. ©Lionsgate

Strago and Krampf end up in a motel with the painting laid over a table as they try to revive the hidden bank account number on the back. The fumbling foursome soon catch up to them and barge right in to interrupt Strago and Krampf and in their fumblings the set the whole room on fire. All seems lost until the next day as they are being let off by the police Johanna tells Mortdecai that the painting that was lost to the fire the previous night was not the real one, the real one is located in Britain with a man named Duke that she met with earlier.

So back they go to Britain to meet with Duke but to their dismay they find out that he's dead. But that doesn't stop them. They visit his wake and make their way to the bathroom where the painting has been hanging all this time. While there they come up with a way to profit from the painting and their situation. They plan to hide the painting under another painting that they were originally auctioning off and make the buyers believe that they're getting the original. It's the old switcheroo. And while at the auction attempt to push the bids all the way to the amount that would enable them to pay off their debt.

So Mortdecai arrives at Krampf's home and immediately tries to seduce his daughter. But she's a nymphomaniac... ©Lionsgate

To make the buyers believe that they're getting what they're paying for they preview the painting to Sir Graham. Now it's the day of the auction and Mortdecai has to switch the paintings. Things don't go well of course as he bumps into the Russians, Strago as well as the Mr Fang's thugs. He escapes of course in his usual way and while managing to inflict injury on Jock. The painting does get sold in the end of course but unfortunately they don't get the full sum as Martland shows up and tells them that the government has taken from the auction what's due to them and all that's left is a few thousand pounds.

The painting on the other hand is bought by the Russian Romanov whom back in Russia with Sir Graham held captive discovers that the painting is another fake. Sir Graham now faces the likelihood of charred testicles. Back in Britain and now debt free Mortdecai and Johanna make up and live happily ever after.

So here Mortdecai should realize that the painting's a forgery but he doesn't his wife has to tell him that much later. Either he's not very good or that forgery is incredibly good. ©Lionsgate

What I thought about Mr Depp's latest film... 

Well, if you read all that up there the way I felt when I wrote it, I wasn't impressed. This is not Mr Depp's best work. It's almost mediocre. It really is. The moments that are supposed to be funny are amusing but seem a little tired. Sort of been there, done that. The premise seemed really promising it would seem and the trailer would have you believe you were in for an interesting and amusing ride but it really doesn't deliver. The worse part for me was actually Mr Depp's attempt at being the foppish English gentleman, he really doesn't pull it off. I know he's supposed to be a caricature of that sort of character, that he's supposed to be an exaggeration of it but it just doesn't seem to work for me. The only other American actor in there that plays a British one is Gwyneth Paltrow and she does a pretty passable British Lady possibly because she's been living in England for so long but Mr Depp's portrayal of his just isn't believable. For me it just seemed forced, if his portrayal was supposed to be satirical then maybe I just didn't get it. Jock played by Paul Bettany was pretty good especially when he gets irritated and annoyed by his employer but I can't help think that he was playing and reacting off Depp's caricature delivery.

For all intents and purposes this movie is not something you should bother watching unless you've watched everything else currently playing. If you're looking for something to lighten your mood and make you laugh this will probably give you a few chuckles. If you're looking for a good and interesting story then this will probably keep your attention for a while before your mind wanders and starts to analyze what's on in front of you.

To sum it up, I was only mildly impressed by it. Luckily for me I didn't have to pay for my tickets. I was lucky enough to have free movie passes provided by GSC Cinemas, unfortunately or maybe fortunately for me I went and chose this one.

I give this movie a very, very average 2.7 out of 5.


  1. I enjoyed seeing a R rated comedy that didn't rely on Fbombs for laughs.

    1. On that I do agree with Mr Thomas Watson!