As bad as it looks. So Johnny Depp plays Charlie Mortdecai, a bumbling art detective who is investigating a case of a stolen painting that may have a bank account number on the back that leads to lost Nazi gold. I watched a trailer for this, and I was immediately struck with how strikingly unfunny it looked. I always give every film a chance though, because trailers are not necessarily the be-all and end-all of quality; Inherent Vice looked like it was going to be great when it’s an incoherent mess, while the first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs looked like it was going to be middling, and it ended up being my favorite animated movie of all time. So ignoring my instincts to run, I sat down, giving Mortdecai the benefit of the doubt, and immediately had difficulties not just turning it off and finding a better use of my time.
It’s Johnny Depp being quirky… again.
Looking back upon Depp’s illustrious 30 year career, I’m just going to come out and say it: this is the worst film where he is featured in a starring role. The only film out there on his filmography that I enjoyed less is one where he just shows up in a supporting role in the third act: Tusk. Actually, he’s practically playing the same exact character, and he’s so overtly annoying that it is inconceivable that anybody out there would put up with his crap. You never like the character of Mortdecai at any point, and you can never see past the fact that it is just Johnny Depp being eccentric yet again, only this time, instead of having the Pirates guyliner or having Tim Burton add his idiosyncratic touches, he has a mustache. You may have not gotten it from the poster, but Johnny Depp is playing a character with a mustache. I don’t know what is wrong with this script, but there is a joke about facial hair about every 3 minutes. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there is an entire subplot revolving around how his wife hates it. I don’t know who thought this was funny, but they have one of the most warped and unique senses of humor I’ve ever seen in my life.
Your friends messing around with mustaches in a costume shop will come up with better comedy than what’s featured here, I promise you.
I can go along with Depp being quirky, but what I can’t forgive a film for being this blatantly unfunny. The pauses are all featured to give you time to laugh, but given all of the aforementioned facts, there’s nothing but awkward silence. It’s pointlessly rated R (if you cut one F-bomb, this would be PG-13), and nobody featured can successfully deliver a punchline. The only person I remotely liked here was Paul Bettany, and that was mostly because he was playing a straight man that wasn’t breaking his back to force comedy that didn’t work. In addition, Mortdecai drags out at every single turn, and I’m not being cute when I say that it’s about 107 minutes too long. It is just tiresome to watch Depp unhinged at this point in his career, and Mortdecai is the equivalent to watching a stand-up comedian bomb onstage for two hours straight.
Mortedcai (2015) *
– Critic for Hire