Study Break: ‘Mortdecai’ review

Daena Marissa Iqbal Hakim

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Film poster released by Lionsgate Entertainment

Johnny Depp’s latest performance disappoints in director David Koepp’s brainless comedy “Mortdecai.”

The film, which stars Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany and Olivia Munn, opened in theaters Thursday.

The story, based on Kyril Bonfiglioli’s series of comic thriller novels, involves Charlie Mortdecai (Depp), a bankrupt aristocratic art dealer who unwillingly teams up with Agent Martland (McGregor) of MI5 (Britain’s Security Service) in search of a lost Goya painting.

In over his head with taxes, Mortdecai and his trusty manservant and bodyguard Jock (Paul Bettany) fight off angry Russians in hopes of recovering the stolen painting, which holds the code leading to a lost Nazi bank account.

Johanna (Paltrow), Mortdecai’s charming wife, is always one step ahead of the game and uses her feminine wiles to her advantage by pursuing her own search for the painting.

It was a sharp tie choosing which was better: Depp’s failed attempt at a British accent or the film’s overplayed gag-reflex-inducing mustache jokes. But Mortdecai and Jock’s bromance does keep viewers mildly entertained throughout the hour and 47 minutes of dry comedy.

“Mortdecai” does have some smooth camera angles and stays true to its roots with comical graphics, but does little justice to a talented cast.

The movie can cause film-goers to leave the cinema feeling cheated of their $9.25 and slightly violated. If you can tolerate the film’s casual brush on sexism and obsession with testicular jokes and have ample time on your hands, then “Mortdecai” might just be the kind of brainless comedy for you.

Marissa Iqbal Hakim can be reached at [email protected] or @daenamarissa on Twitter.

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