As far as we can tell, anecdotally speaking at least, Lionsgate wasn’t in a big hurry for critics to see Johnny Depp‘s “Mortdecai.” In Montreal, the press screening earlier this week was quietly canceled, and advance showings in New York seemed hard to come by as well. But the movie has premiered overseas, and perhaps it’s not a surprise that his movie is a complete stinker.
The first reviews for the film have rolled it, and it looks like the only thing that critics can’t agree on is just how bad the movie is. In a year filled with secret agent comedies—”Kingsman: The Secret Service” arrives next month, with Melissa McCarthy‘s “Spy” dropping in the summer—”Mortdecai” looks like it will be the most quickly forgotten. That moustache on Depp’s upper lip? Maybe not much. And here’s an interesting bit of trivia: Depp passed on Wes Anderson‘s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” to do this movie instead. Food for thought….
Anyway, “Mortdecai” opens on Friday, but before you buy a ticket, maybe read what these reviews have to say first.
The Telegraph: “…psychotically unfunny…”
Variety: “…a perky but obstinately unfunny heist caper with a hero irksome enough to make any happily mustachioed man reconsider his life choices.”
Daily Star: “Comedies rarely win Oscars, which is ridiculous considering how much more difficult they are to pull off than serious dramas. That point is hammered home relentlessly by this shockingly unfunny Johnny Depp vanity project.”
THR: “Despite a heavyweight cast and the solid directing skills of A-list screenwriter David Koepp (‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Panic Room,’ ‘Spider-Man’), this charmless farce ends up as another black mark on Depp’s recent track record of patchy pet projects.”
Time Out London: “But as the plot ties itself in ever more uninteresting knots, a nagging question remains: who is ‘Mortdecai’ for? It’s not thrilling enough for the multiplex crowd and not funny enough to work as out-and-out comedy.”
Screen Daily: “It is easy to see why Johnny Depp was drawn to the mischievously slippery, louche and charming fictional character of Charlie Mortdecai, and while he clearly has a great deal of fun playing the sly moustache-twirling British aristocrat the film just never quite works as it aims for knowing slapstick but ends up feeling like an extended skit with the joke outstaying its welcome.”
Digital Spy: “Mortdecai, the film, is neither satire nor spoof, instead getting caught uncomfortably in a place where the butt of the joke is difficult to pinpoint. And it seems the star of the film is hiding as well behind those carefully teased whiskers, apparently having tired of the whole acting thing and decided to act the fool instead.”
The Wrap: ” ‘Mortdecai’ is by no means a disaster — the occasional joke lands, and there’s at least some fun to be found in the frenetic farce of all the conspiracies and the running-around (It’s certainly not the fiasco that the recent, barely-released remake of ‘Gambit’ was). Still, I spent most of the movie waiting for it to find its rhythms and set a witty pace for itself that would allow the humor to build and the outrageous situations to pay off grandly.”