Watching Mortdecai, I couldn’t help but spend most of my time contemplating what differentiates this from a Wes Anderson movie. After all, the former features Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Goldblum and, most importantly, a motorcycle with sidecar. It also centers on a valuable painting that multiple characters covet, just like Anderson’s latest, the Oscar-contending The Grand Budapest Hotel. Goldblum is in that one and, more interestingly enough, Mortdecai lead Johnny Depp was long-rumored to play the part of Monsieur Gustave H., which was filled instead by Ralph Fiennes (Anderson denied Depp was ever in consideration). Perhaps his early involvement with this similar-sounding movie wound up crossing with the other in conversations around Hollywood. There are many things that do separate Mortdecai from Grand Budapest and others made by Anderson. The heart isn’t there, for one thing. Nor is the meticulous art direction. It reminds me of the viral videos parodying Anderson’s style made by people who clearly don’t get the filmmaker at all. To be fair and frank, when it comes right down to it, Mortdecai is really as much, or probably more, akin to the work of The Farrelly Brothers. There are fart jokes, a lot of gagging and vomiting, plus boners, horny old men, testicular preoccupations and at least two clinical nymphomaniacs (who strangely are never even hinted as being potentially paired up). There’s also some obvious Blake Edwards influence, in that there’s plenty of physical comedy of the sort where the first shot of the movie shows a waitress delivering flaming cocktails, and we can be certain we’ll soon see such drinks knocked clumsily by the hero and catch someone’s clothing on fire. 


Mortdecai Movie

There have been plenty of bumbling crime-fighters throughout the years. Pink Panther, Johnny English, OSS 117, Frank Drebin. All are respected for being ridiculous while still, somehow, saving the day. And now there’s Johnny Depp as Charlie Mortdecai — filling out the cult figure from the 1970s Kyril Bonfiglioli books with far better names than this movie got. (Seriously, would you rather go see Don’t Point That Thing At Me or Mortdecai? Exactly.) The trailer offers a classic comic take on the absurd police figure. Guaranteed Depp’s character gets locked out of a building without his pants. It’s that kind of movie.


Johnny Depp in Mortdecai

Is Johnny Depp a movie star anymore? He is certainly famous, but he doesn’t have the box office clout he used to. The actor consistently does well internationally, but in the States, he hasn’t opened a major release in years, at least one that wasn’t already an established brand. Transcendence, The Lone Ranger, The Tourist, Dark Shadows and The Rum Diary all bombed here. Of course, the quality of those titles aren’t up there with his finer films, so that’s a slight hindrance. Maybe all Depp needs is simply a really good movie to win back moviegoers. Reuniting with writer/director David Koepp is a step in the right direction. The two collaborated on 2004’s Secret Window, which is an especially good Stephen King adaptation. It’s also one of the last times Depp pulled off playing an average joe. For some reason he couldn’t do the same in The Tourist and Transcendence. There’s something very off about those performances. Maybe he’s been playing so many larger-than-life characters lately that an everyman no longer comes naturally to him. Whatever the case, Mortdecai may be a return to form for the actor. Depp is once again playing a heightened character, but the difference this time is he looks genuinely funny as the oblivious art dealer Charles Mortdecai, a man in search of a stolen painting connected to a lost bank account full of Nazi gold. If you want to see Depp playing a “bit of a moron,” watch the teaser trailer for the film below.



What is Casting Couch? It’s the place to go to find out which upcoming movies are going to star which actors. Keep reading to discover the cast of veterans Adam Carolla wants you to help him make a movie with. Given Johnny Depp’s penchant for always sporting flashy accessories and conspicuous facial hair, his next project should prove to be right in his wheelhouse. The Wrap is reporting that he’s all set to star in Mortdecai, which is an adaptation of Kyril Bonfiglioli‘s comedic crime novel “The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery,” and possibly the launcher of a new franchise for the actor. David Koepp (Premium Rush) will direct the film, which will cast Depp as Charlie Mortdecai, a dashing art dealer who often finds himself caught up in espionage and intrigue. This particular Mortdecai story is one that involves rare paintings and Nazi gold, which most of the best stories often do.

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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