Mortdecai Review: Open Your Balls

Posted in The Screening Room by - December 08, 2015

For my second review of the month of So bad they’re still bad, I was assigned the laborious task of watching the 2015 David Koepp directed film, Mortdecai. With a twelve percent rating on rotten tomatoes, Mortdecai made an astoundingly bad impression on critics and audience members alike. However, after watching the trailer I was mildly hopeful that it might manage to be one of those lovely examples of professional critics being completely snobbish in their viewing of a heartfelt comedy.

Unfortunately, Mortdecai is a remarkable collection of talented actors and actresses that are compiled together in to a monstrous pile of excrement with a fabulous mustache. Johnny Depp plays the titular Mortdecai, a dealer of stolen arts. Together with his manservant, thuggish, oversexed, and apparently invincible brute Jock, played by Paul Bettany, he aids Ewan McGregor’s Agent Martland in tracking down a murderer who stole a painting. This cast, complimented by Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Goldblum, and a few smaller players, spends the entirety of the movie obviously stating their feelings, the state of the plot, and their opinions of Mortdecai’s new mustache. Things just tend to happen as the characters stand around and fumble in to plot points and share exposition dumps.

They’re looking for a long lost painting, commissioned by Spanish royalty then stolen before it was burnt, before being stolen by renowned Nazi Herman Goering, who then wrote his Swiss bank account numbers on the back for no discernible reason, before it was lost again, only to be discovered when an art repair woman working for a museum found it underneath the paint work of a different painting for some reason. At least, that’s the explanation for the film that is handed to the audience all at once in scene half way through the film. Of course, at this point it’s been stated by four separate characters that Mortdecai is broke, and it’s been flatly put that a rumor and mystery surrounding an otherwise average painting is worth a fortune on the black market, and so the ending becomes rather obvious, destroying what curiosity the audience might have vainly been able to hold on to until this moment in the film.

The humor is blatant and moronic, a mix of farts, flamboyant homosexuality, Depp’s ceaseless moans, and watching Jock blankly protect his incompetent master. One scene that epitomizes the style of the movie is when Mortdecai is punched in the nose by a mobster. A second mobster uses a kerchief to wipe blood from his face before punching him again. Mortdecai declares “You pretended to be gentle but you weren’t!” and the film expects us to laugh. With so many attempts at straight forward and entirely unsubtle comedy, there are a few instances that manage to bring out a chuckle. Jock’s unrelenting poon hounding is mildly funny in it’s absurdity considering that he somehow manages to sleep with the farmers daughter without having noticeably left his master’s side. Mortdecai’s trip to America, where he briefly enters an elevator full of hipsters who’s facial hair puts his minuscule mustache to shame, is another entertaining tidbit, though it lasts for only a few seconds.

Overall the film is bland, unfunny, and disappointing considering it’s visual vibrancy, the characters are all straightforward, the plot is both undefined and contrived, and the climax is boring.

Final Say: Skip It

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Born in Arizona, he currently resides in Denton, Texas. When he isn’t watching movies he’s playing board games and drinking whatever he can get his hands on. John watches Djimon Honsou movies because he likes Spawn, which had Michael Jai White.

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