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Juggling angry Russians, the British Mi5, and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai races to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain a code that leads to lost Nazi gold.
Johnny Depp – Charlie Mortdecai
Gwyneth Paltrow – Johanna Mortdecai
Ewan McGregor – Inspector Martland
Paul Bettany – Jock Strapp
Olivia Munn – Gerogina Krampf
Jonny Pasvolsky – Emil Strago
This movie is non-stop slapstick and hilarity, from opening to close. I’m not kidding when I say Mortdecai is laugh-a-minute. The script flows with constant humour, delivered brilliantly by Mr. Depp who had 70% of the auditorium roaring with laughter the entire time the movie was on screen. I don’t class myself a fan of his but Johnny Depp won me over instantly with his wonderfully wacky personality and pompous voice. The style in which he delivered his dialogue was just superb, spoken with such speed that each and every gag was thrown at the audience, before moving immediately on to the next. The actor channels some serious comedic energy into his character which is a quality he is notorious for, however, Mortdecai is something different to what he’s done before. This man is a posh and almost insufferable force, bursting with innuendo. Nothing he says isn’t entertaining like a character you’d find in a Carry-On film.
Joanna: “ugh. It’s like a vagina on your face” (referring to his moustache)
Charlie: “..but, surely you mean the pubic hair ABOVE a vagina. Not the actual vagina”.
..the audience HOWLED.
But still the gags continued, snowballing into a feast of total hilarity. I actually wondered at one point about how successful a feature like this would be on stage. Its farcical structure is perfect for a Broadway comedy – I have a feeling a live audience would absolutely lap it up.
Near the beginning of the movie, Mortdecai stands in his living room as his wife Joanna makes an entrance through the front door behind him. And as the dialogue begins to flow between them, the phrase “the apple of my eye” escapes his lips. Gwyneth Paltrow’s real-life daughter is named Apple. I found this slightly witty.
But in all seriousness, Gwyn was the apple of my eye throughout this movie. The actress struts on to the set with a deliciously posh voice and image to match, and brings a character who adds brilliantly to the level of dynamics. Without her, I have a feeling Mortdecai would be slightly dull in terms of casting – the comedy would remain strong but otherwise it would be nearly all-male cast. What Gwyneth does here is add to the film dynamics on two levels; by being the token female amongst many men – a refreshing beacon of femininity. And by performing a character who complemented Mortdecai superbly, like spices to a soup. Of course for the actress herself, it was probably no hardship playing a wealthy Brit – it’s what she does most of the time. But Gwyneth’s comic timing and facial expressions were fantastic. Johnny had the audience howling, but even Gwyneth evoked this reaction with the most subtle of line delivery. Brilliant.
Mortdecai is constant saucy antics and laughs. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect before going to see it, but I anticipated some humour. What I got was a snowball of sexual innuendo and madcap scenarios which grew and grew until the final scene. Not one scene in this movie is slow, even ones where the lead character is not doing much physically, he manages to please vocally. In terms of fast-paced funny action, I would say The Grand Budapest Hotel has stiff competition (many people enjoyed that) – but Mortdecai outruns the Hotel by miles. It’s that sort of structure you’re dealing with here; colourful characters, witty script, fast delivery of mad scenarios. In fact, The Grand Budapest Hotel is bloody awful compared to Mortdecai.
Depp and Bettany make a solid pairing as they whizz around the set in various vehicles, whilst knocking out bad guys. The men are completely different in every way, but the chemistry is superb. In fact at one point, I couldn’t help but liken them to Wallace and Gromit (especially during the motorbike chase scene). Vehicle whizzing through streets as one character shoots a gun at the bad guy, and the other tries to keep an eye on the road. Hats off to Paul Bettany for bringing a strong, caricature-like presence to the screen. Yet another dash of eccentricity that helped boost the movie along nicely.
There’s slap and tickle gags, tit-grabbing, food poisoning, testicle teasing and a whole load of sexual innuendo crammed into 106 of its screen time, and Mortdecai certainly delivers where it should.
I’ll make it clear – if you’re wanting to kick back and let a movie wash over you, whilst making you snigger and hoot with laughter a handful of times then this is the one.
The plot is incredibly simple, not something you have to analyze too much. It also flows at a good pace, so you’re not left waiting for more entertaining. Each scene jumps into the next with immediate wacky effect. In fact, Mortdecai would be the perfect ‘hangover watch’ on a Saturday / Sunday afternoon. Unsure about myself personally though, as I use UK Big Brother‘s Nikki Grahame to laugh myself out of a hangover.
Mortdecai was just what I needed – a good laugh.
I spent much of the movie frowning whilst laughing out loud, and this was due to Depp’s crafty – sometimes squeakily high – voice and animated facial expressions. Supported by a cast who all deliver the goods in their own individual styles, he brings Charlie Mortdecai to life in his notoriously passionate way. If you’re a fan of Johnny Depp I have no doubt you’ll embrace this movie with affection. I don’t consider myself a fan, but the man had me in bloody stitches.
Simple. Bizarre. Hilarious.