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Oh boy, Johnny Depp. You have reached maximum wacky. In an attempt to broaden his range and appeal following a string of underperforming films, Depp is going for high comedy in Mortdecai. Depp here plays Charlie Mortdecai, an eccentric and wealthy art dealer who must recover a stolen painting leading him to Nazi gold. You might not know that from the trailer, which feels like a brief introduction that will continue in a series of ads: here's a goofball who the audience will grow to love! Depp's latest affectation here is meticulous mustaches.
The movie's actually got a pretty stellar cast onboard. Gwenyth Paltrow looks like she'll be shifting from being Iron Man's Girl Friday to being Depp's, though Olivia Munn appears to be earning his most amorous affections. That's also posh Avengers: Age Of Ultron star Paul Bettany as the most unlikely hired muscle in the world, Ewan McGregor as the agent out to nab him, and Jeff Goldblum again probably playing some delightful version of himself. The trailer doesn't show Oliver Platt, and, criminally, it doesn't even show Aubrey Plaza. Come on, trailer. Why are you denying us a chance to watch more Aubrey Plaza? What kind of sick bastards are you?
This clearly looks like another attempt by Depp to launch a franchise. It also, thankfully, looks miles away from his ponderous turn in the ill-received Transcendence. Oddly enough, this is from David Koepp, the Jurassic Park and Spider-Man screenwriter-turned-director who previously directed Premium Rush, though he worked with Depp on Secret Window. The writer is Eric Aronson, who landed on the Black List for adapting the novel by Kyril Bonfiglioli and Craig Brown, though, curiously, he has only one other IMDb credit. We're all certain you're a great writer, Aronson, and you've probably worked on several excellent unmade screenplays over the years. But we're never going to let you live this particularly credit down.
Mortdecai looks like it shares a bit of DNA with The Pink Panther, capturing a frothy, lightweight tone. Of course, some of the gags here do resolve on Johnny Depp making increasingly silly faces and falling funny – in one case, he accidentally shoots a guy, which seems particularly unfunny from the perspective of this completely humorless jerk writing this article. But the film's certainly got a meaty pedigree, and it might even be a hit for Depp when it hits theaters next February 5th, opening against...
Woah, wait a second. Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out Of Water, Jupiter Ascending, and the much-delayed Seventh Son also open on that date. Yikes. Someone's going to get their ass handed to them, and it probably ain't Spongebob.