I arrived at the theater knowing that this movie was going to have problems. No matter how good, people don’t tend to go to movies they can’t pronounce. It’s not that they fear said movie might be over their head. It’s just, when they’re talking on the phone to their friends, and telling them they’re going to see a movie, they don’t want to sound like an idiot. For example;
“Hey Essa, what’re you doing tonight?”
“Going to see Motouchy? Mordeashai? I don’t know. It’s that movie where Johnny Depp has another weird mustache.”
“That’s the one.”
Silly name aside, this movie had potential. Who doesn’t love a dashing art dealer and Johnny Depp in full character mode? In fact, this is a role that seamed custom made for Johnny Depp, much like his instant gold hit with Jack Sparrow. But in this case, something doesn’t work.
The premise is this. Mortdecai is in debt and he needs to climb out of it. When a valuable painting is stolen, a security agent agrees to let Mortdecai off the hook if he helps track down the crooks, who also have ties to terrorism. Mortdecai takes the job and wife Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow) comes along to help. This premise is based on one of the books in the Mortdecai series “Don’t Point That Thing at Me.” I have to say, the books were far better than the movie adaptation.
For some reason, Mordecai felt really cartoony. That would usually work fine, but for the fact that no one else felt cartoony. It was like Depp was living in his own alternate reality, while everyone else was in real reality. He went too far with the character and turned him into a caricature instead. When you toss in a lot of adult humor, with a main character who feels like a cartoon, things just get uncomfortable. I have to say, it’s a bit like Austin Powers…only not remotely funny.
Also, Gwyneth Paltrow is not designed for comedy. Sure, she might be ok in romantic comedies, but straight comedy is not her forte. I feel like her part would have been better played by an unknown. This is a movie that requires the ability to do gross out humor and Paltrow seemed unwilling to let go.
The cast flopped between trying too hard or not trying hard enough. Nobody hit the nail on the head.
It’s a strange movie to find an audience for. While the characters themselves feel like they were designed for children, the constant sex jokes and curse words give this movie an R Rating. That means that the audience who might have liked it, teens, are left out of the loop, while most adults would just find it stupid.
This might just be the flop of the year. The studio apparently had big dreams for it, indicating that they felt it would become a franchise along the lines of The Pink Panther. But after earning only a paltry $4 million, which isn’t even half of Depp’s fee, this movie is nothing short of a disaster. It’s slowly sinking down at the box office, holding the 9th spot, but it’s probably likely that the movie will disappear entirely after only a few more days.
We Gave it: 1 Star: Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below