DVD review: Mortdecai - Johnny Depp lifeless in comedy flop

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 May, 2015, 10:53pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 May, 2015, 10:53pm

Let's forget the film for a moment and instead lament the decline of one of the film industry's most interesting characters.

Johnny Depp was once edgy and unpredictable, but is now seemingly so far removed from the real world he thinks he can secretly fly a few dogs into a country with among the most stringent quarantine laws on the planet - and his fame will force people to turn a blind eye.

The incident in Australia recently might have been embarrassing - for both the actor and the local politicians who threatened to put down his pups - but it pales into insignificance when placed up against this howler.

Fame might have turned Depp's view of life and its rules hazy - but that's no excuse for getting involved with this gibberish.

There was a sense of dread when Depp started going through the motions in the most recent additions to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, his Jack Sparrow quickly becoming a tired and predictable parody. And that's the main problem with Mortdecai - the bumbling fool played by Depp is by now old hat, bludgeoned to death by the Austin Powers franchise.

There's a plot involving a stolen painting and a cast seemingly intent on pretending they are in different movies: Jeff Goldblum, for example, chews up every piece of scenery he can as an ugly American, while Gwyneth Paltrow is the only saving grace as Mortdecai's wife, giving the character far more wisdom than the script wants her to have.

The humour, to use that word loosely, is telegraphed well before delivery and what's worse is that the film commits the cardinal sin of becoming boring almost as soon as it begins.

The filmmakers - plucking their inspiration from the pages of a successful series of books - seems to have waded into the project thinking Depp might save the day.

But a style of acting that once seemed quirky and inspired, now just comes across as laboured and lifeless.

Extras: Stolen Moments - On the Set of Mortdecai; The Art of Noise - Making Music for Mortdecai featurettes; trailers.

Mortdecai Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow​ Director: David Koepp