Take a Drink: every time the mustache is mentioned.
Do a Shot: every time something bad happens to Jock.
Take a Drink: whenever someone says “Goya.”
Do a Shot: every time Jock bangs someone.
Take a Drink: whenever Mortdecai whines.
By: Hawk Ripjaw (Five Beers) –
Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp), art dealer and sometimes police informant, has a new mustache. He loves his mustache, even though his wife Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow) tells him it looks like his has a vagina on his face. Mortdecai asks for clarification over whether she means an actual vagina, or just the hair above a vagina. He tries to get her to kiss him, and when she does, she starts to gag. This of course sets of Mortdecai’s own gag reflex, because that’s comedy.
This is literally a scene in Mortdecai.
What starts our hero’s adventure is the disappearance of a priceless Goya, which has printed on the back the combination to a safe filled with Nazi gold. Because why not? High-ranking investigator Martland (Ewan McGregor), who wants to stick his penis in Johanna’s own “mustache,” visits Mortdecai to gather some expertise. Mortdecai, deep in debt, agrees to help recover the painting because he and his wife are roughly 8 million pounds in debt and her husband is too stupid to figure out how to fix it.
So Mortdecai, accused of possessing the painting and hunted by another mustachioed assassin, takes his loyal, menacing and sexually promiscuous manservant and bodygyard Jock (Paul Bettany) across the globe to find the painting, solve the mystery, and interact with Olivia Munn and Jeff Goldblum for like 5 minutes.
There’s only one line that actually made me chuckle in the entire film, and it’s even in the trailer, albeit edited:
“No, I don’t need help with my bags. I have a fucking manservant.”
That’s not even really that funny.
One of the things that made Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau such an incredible character was his complete ineptitude, and a complete lack of awareness thereof. Anytime he is successful it’s because it was by accident. His idiocy is enhanced by his misguided belief in his brilliance as an investigator.
The thing that made Steve Martin terrible as Clouseau was that The Pink Panther was 100 minutes of Steve Martin making faces and talking weird. And that’s exactly why Mortdecai is so bad. Instead of a ridiculous caper filled with physical comedy, we get Johnny Depp mugging his ass off and acting like a fucking moron. The entire film exists so that Johnny Depp can make a stupid face and talk with a stupid voice.
With precious few exceptions, the physical comedy falls flat on its face. Whether it’s Mortdecai touching a cactus and hurting himself, or a couple of characters getting hit by a car in one scene, the movie either completely fucks up the physical comedy or does something mildly funny that doesn’t last long enough to have impact.
The script is bad to the point where you wonder whether this is some bizarre experiment to see how unfunny you can make a caper. I’m serious here folks, Steve Martin’s Pink Panther is literally funnier than this is. Some of these sex gags might have been funny in the 70s when the source novel Don’t Point That Thing at Me was written, but here they just come across as half-baked and uninteresting. Even disregarding that, there are pieces of the script that just straight-up suck. There is a Russian character who just says “balls” every other line. The script finds things that it thinks are funny, then assumes those things will work as comedy all on their own with no actual execution.
The story, too, is deplorable. The plot beats make less sense than the second half of Lost, and is delivered with such limp energy that it’s really hard to give a shit at all about this story. The characters of Olivia Munn and Jeff Goldblum are indeed in the movie for maybe 5-10 minutes total and do almost nothing that couldn’t have been easily written around.
I’d make it a six pack but I don’t think there’s any way to make this movie funnier. Sometimes you look at something, like the Clippy or my own sex life, and you say, “What the hell were they thinking? How do you fuck up a simple concept this badly?”
Mortdecai is, above all else, just frustrating. There is a skeleton of a good movie here, but every flash of inspiration or clever comedy is just that, a quick, meager flash before the movie fades back into mediocrity.
Even Jock, loyal to his master until the very end even as it causes him grievous bodily harm, is shown in one scene getting tired of Mortdecai’s shit.
We feel you, Jock.