Home Video Spotlight on by A.C. Hall

home movieMortdecai…

I’ve come to a decision.  Johnny Depp is terrible.  Sure, he has his moments and has delivered a few memorable characters over the years, but for the most part, he’s terrible.  Depp doesn’t just march to the beat of his own drummer, he invents his own instruments and plays alien music that only trans-dimensional pixies can hear.  Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit.  Maybe he just is a weird guy who plays weird characters in weird and bad movies.  That’s most certainly an accurate description of the pile of badness known as Mortdecai.
One struggle I have as a movie critic is the fact that I really love movies.  Even in the worst of films, I often find things I like, making it complicated to give a full picture of my thoughts on the movie.  I had no such struggle with Mortdecai.  This is a charmless, humorless, useless movie.
In Mortdecai, Depp gives one of his all time worst performances as a parade of big name actors all give moronic performances in support.  Depp plays a charmless, bumbling idiot who stumbles his way through the movie stupidly.  He’s supposed to be some lovable oaf, but it doesn’t work at all.  The character is devoid of anything good or likable, and watching him in this movie is a painful endeavor.  I’m fine with this kind of character when it’s done well.  Watching a clueless fool bumble through a film can be fun, but Mortdecai is the opposite of fun.  I’m serious, everything about this movie is the opposite of fun.
In case there’s any doubt, let me state something here.  I hated this movie about as much as I’ve ever hated a movie.  It’s obvious that no one involved really cared, from the writers down to the stars.  It’s painful to see actors I respect tied up in this mess, too.  Paul Bettany hits a career low as Depp’s faithful manservant, while Ewan McGregor stinks up every scene he’s in as a police officer.
This movie is so bad and I hated it so much that I felt like I was missing something.  I kept wondering if Mortdecai was actually some sort of an homage to the slapstick silliness of films in a bygone era, or maybe some convoluted satire against these types of bumbling detective films.  The movie is based off a book from the early 1970’s, and maybe the filmmakers secretly hated the book and wanted to completely destroy its memory by making the worst film adaptation they could.  I don’t know, and I really don’t care.  An awful movie is an awful movie, and this is most certainly an awful movie.
I wish there was something positive I could say about Mortdecai, but there isn’t.  It’s been a while since I sat through a movie this bad and I can just about guarantee that Mortdecai will be one of my top 5 worst movies of 2015.  Everything about this movie is unenjoyable, from the characters to the story to the visuals.  Depp’s star has been plunging for a while in Hollywood, and as mean as it might sound, I’m hopeful this movie will serve as one of his last for a while.  Because truthfully, I’m not sure how many more Johnny Depp movies I can endure.

This movie is rated R for some language and sexual material