Mortdecai is very unique and special. It's very different from anything I have done before. We haven't seen that type of caper movie for a number of years. If you go back and watch movies, like The Pink Panther or some of the wonderful French films with Louis de Funes, there's really something great about those caper films that teeter toward farcical.
– Johnny Depp on Mortdecai
Who is Mortdecai?
Don't Point That Thing at Me by Kyril Bunfiglioli, Mortdecai stars Johnny Depp as an aristocratic art dealer, who is drowning in debt and denial. When his old friend and rival, Inspector Martland (Ewan McGregor), ropes him into helping to search for a stolen painting, he becomes bogged down by Russians, a terrorist, and other troubling inconveniences. With a beautiful but unhappy wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) at home, Charlie Mortdecai at least still has his trusty man servant Jock (Paul Bettany) always nearby to take care of everything. But will everything turn out all right in the end?
I tried to tame my anticipation.
Ewan McGregor has always been one of my favorite actors, but – unlike my Johnny Experience – I'm not sure how or when my love for Ewan McGregor began. I don't always know what movies he'll be in or when they're coming out, but I see them all. I love catching him on talk shows, but I never think to check for his name on the schedules ahead of time. I've even read his books about his motorcycle trips around the world, and I don't even like motorcycles.
|I love them!!!|
So, I went back to trying to ignore it was happening. It wasn't too hard because I was distracted by an endless string of colds that I was trying to expel from my body with Sudafed and sleep.
There's a first time for everything.
- "Charmless, mirthless, witless, this waste of time is another black mark on Depp's card, while his co-stars fare little better. Even low expectations won't help you here."
- "Mortdecai is an anachronistic mess that never succeeds..."
- "What a frantically dull spectacle this vanity project is."
- "Johnny Depp's done so much for us over the years; let's forget this movie ever happened." (I don't think this one was from Fandango, but it's my favorite.)
|It's not a good look, Johnny!|
|Jock saves the day here....|
Relax, I'm over it.
|He takes care of things here too.|
|This still may be my favorite moment.|
|Spinoza is a mechanic full of creative insults.|
These high spirits come through in the final product. I suspect they might even be contagious; as I said, I laughed more and more with each viewing. And, again, I saw some critic reviews without even trying – this time noting the DVD release – saying that Mortdecai is worth another look. But don't take their fickle word for it. I promise, Mortdecai will grow on you, so give it a chance!
These are my two favorite kitties!
I was really worried about finding something to draw for Mortdecai at first; it's one of the reasons I had to watch it four times. Since the most exciting thing about this movie to me was the prospect of Johnny and Ewan working together, I limited my options to the scenes they shared. Unfortunately, they don't have many. (They'll make up for it by working together again someday, right, casting directors?) Luckily, however, I realized eventually that one of their scenes is the key to everything.
In this scene, Inspector Martland (Comet) reveals the plot when he enlists Charlie Mortdecai (Gordon) to help him find a stolen painting. In return, his host offers him some rancid cheese. This scene not only tells you the plot, but captures Charlie Mortdecai's posh lifestyle and past, these characters and their rivalry, and even secret treasures. I stuck Jock (Norman) in there too because he really is always around to save the day.
Johnny hears my illness-induced complaints and sinks his teeth into a serious drama, playing mobster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. I haven't seen the previews yet and am afraid of the violence in store, but I'm very excited just the same. See it September 18th! A Johnny Kitties tribute will follow its DVD release.
Photo credits: All images © Lionsgate