“Mortdecai” is a 2015 action comedy film, directed by David Koepp (“Stir Of Echoes”, “Secret Window”.
English author Kyril Bonfiglioli (1928-1985) wrote a trilogy of books around the character of Charlie Mortdecai, beginning with 1973’s “Don’t Point That Thing At Me”, which provides the source material for this movie.
Lord Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp – “The Tourist”, “The Rum Diary”) is a somewhat eccentric art dealer who, following in the footsteps of all the previous generations of Mortdecai men, has decided to cultivate a distinctive curly mustache.
Unfortunately for him, his wife Lady Johanna Mortdecai (Gwyneth Paltrow – “Iron Man”, “Contagion”) is thoroughly repulsed by his facial adornment and far more concerned by the state of the couple’s finances, as they are heavily in debt to the British Government to the tune of £8 million.
Mortdecai is tasked with tracking down a stolen Goya painting by MI5 man Inspector Alistair Martland (Ewan McGregor – “Son Of A Gun”, “Perfect Sense”) in exchange for a 10% commission.
Together with his manservant Jock Strapp (Paul Bettany – “Transcendence”, “Creation”) Mortdecai sets off around the globe from London to Moscow and then to Los Angeles in pursuit of the stolen artwork, leaving the love-struck Martland to fawn after Lady Mortdecai.
Along the way there are Russian thugs, Hong Kong gangsters, art smugglers, Nazi gold and Swiss bank accounts and the sale of a precious Rolls-Royce thrown into the mix.
The trail leads to the Los Angeles estate of Milton Krampf (Jeff Goldblum – “Jurassic Park”, “Morning Glory”) where Mortdecai encounters Krampf’s seemingly nymphomanic daughter Georgina (Olivia Munn – “Deliver Us From Evil”).
This movie has been absolutely trashed by critics and reviewers alike, but I must say that my family and I very much enjoyed it.
Sure, the acting – particularly from the Terry Thomas-like Depp – is hammy and over the top, and some of the comedy is simple and unreconstructed – but hey, regardless of what the PC brigade may say I still enjoy the old “Carry On…” films, “St. Trinian’s”, Peter Sellers’ “Pink Panther” films etc., so maybe I’m just too common and old fashioned to understand what “should” be funny these days?
For an uncomplicated, entertaining and amusing film you could do much worse than check this one out…