Saturday, December 31, 2016

Mortdecai

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I've got nothing to add here.  Since this is being posted on New Year's Eve I'd wish you a Happy New Year but I don't know when you're reading this so I'll just say, "Have a great day!"



Mortdecai – 1 out of 5

While I do enjoy many of his movies, Johnny Depp isn’t a name that automatically gets me up and gearing to see a movie.  His films and his performances are always a bit hit-or-miss for me.  That being said, when I first saw that trailer for Mortdecai, I thought it looked a bit amusing but not enough where I would drop everything to watch it. Then it came out and proceeded to be eviscerated by the critics and bomb terribly at the box office.  Not that these facts swayed my decision about watching it but it certainly influenced my drive to view it.  Even after it came out to rent I still put it off but with time to kill thanks to the holidays I decided I would check it out and see if it was really as bad as the critics said it was...and boy was it!

Even the presence of Jeff Goldblum couldn't help this film.  Goldblum isn't like life
and he just can't find a way sometimes.

Based on the first novel of the Mortdecai series, Charlie Mortdecai (Depp) is a charlatan and an art dealer who gets enlisted by Inspector Alistair Martland (Ewan McGregor) to help find a stolen piece of artwork.  It seems the art holds a secret to a delectable treasure and it seems some angry Russians and terrorists are out to find the piece as well.  Alongside his wife; Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow), and his manservant/bodyguard/holder of an absolutely terrible pun name; Jock Strapp (Paul Bettany), Mortdecai sets out to find the stolen work.

With as many flops this man has been a part of and somehow still remains a well-paid
leading man who gets consistent work, he must have made a deal with the devil.
Other actors have disappeared into nothing for less.

I always see people in various movie groups I’m in talk about how they “don’t listen to the critics” like it’s a badge of courage or something.  Since I consider myself a wannabe critic, I absolutely listen to the critics and I acknowledge that I don’t have to agree with them.  I’m endless curious how others experience films and how these experiences differ from person to person.  With every movie I watch, I check out the critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes and see where I stand in comparison.  Did I agree with the majority of the critics, do I disagree?  Sometimes it’s dead-on with the consensus and sometimes it’s way, way, way, WAY off.  Mortdecai is one of those cases where I absolutely agree.

Olivia Munn is in the film, shown here imitating the face I made the entire the time
I watched the movie.


When I watched the trailer and heard the reviews, I thought there’s no way this movie could be as bad as the critics are saying.  I mean, the film has a great cast and kinda looks like it has a Pink Panther vibe to it.  I love all the adventures of Inspector Clouseau so when I sat down with it I predicted that I might find this one mildly entertaining and find some things about it funny.  I was wrong because this movie is very boring and terribly unfunny.

Don't read too deeply into the placement of a screencap of Paltrow following the words
"boring" and "unfunny."

I will admit that I found some parts of the film to be amusing—for example, the character of Jock is responsible for the best parts of the film and was a fun character that proved to be too good for the movie.  Hell, I’ll even add that there are some decently constructed action moments in the film that are pretty fun and capture the action comedy genre but the majority of the film, however, was painfully awkward.  Too often, the humor comes in the form of strange punch lines added to the end of scenes and these moments rarely added anything to what you just saw and rather than end the sequence on a high note (or in the case of Mortdecai, end the scene on a passable note), it ends the scene with a moment that made me say, “That was the best they could come up with?”  I always say comedy is subjective but the humor in this film just felt so lackluster and almost like the production just wasn’t putting the effort in.

Even with his stupid pun name, Jock is a damn awesome character.

As if a lack of effort was a theme for the film, the story just didn’t feel that interesting or even a remotely compelling mystery.  Who stole the art?  It really didn’t matter to me because the film’s plot has absolutely no sense of urgency and the reveals and the “Who Dun It?” is presented in such a mediocre way that I found I could not get invested in anything the story was doing.  In fact, the whole story just feels like it is just take a leisurely stroll through its plot and it made for a film that didn’t really feel tedious but was a long, long way from being engaging.

This film did make me really want to see a Star Wars Anthology film where we see
McGregor reprise his role of Obi-Wan and show his days on Tatooine.

The final issue I had with the film is Johnny Depp’s performance.  For me, Depp is an actor who is either perfect and amazing in the role he’s cast for or just feels wrong for the part and comes off way too cartoonish.  The latter is definitely the case this time around for me but it’s even worse as his cartoon-esque performance as Mortdecai doesn’t match the reality that the character exists in nor does it blend very well with the other characters.  To put it another way, every character is slightly embellished but Depp is doing it to a degree where it is more distracting than entertaining.

A part of me thinks Depp gets to be so over-the-top in so may movies is because he knows
that no one can kill his career as long as Tim Burton still lives.

Mortdecai has some funny moments, has a great character in Jock, and the film actually has some really great editing and scene transitions but it has too many problems overshadowing these few good elements.  Aside from painfully unfunny gags and jokes and a story that feels lethargic and boring, the film also has the odd reality that it is rated R but never feels like it really needs to be.  Yes, there’s a couple of F-bombs but, aside from that, the whole film feels like a PG-13 film.  Overall, Mortdecai is just a completely forgettable movie that offers very little in the entertainment department.

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