Opening 22 Jan 2015
Writing credits: Eric Aronson, Kyril Bonfiglioli
Principal actors: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn
The Duke of Mortdecai (Johnny Depp), a man of many talents, is in a bit of a predicament demanding an immediate infusion of “moola”. His manservant Jock (Paul Bettany) is ever watchful and to the rescue. His wife Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow) is brainy, beautiful, and ever resourceful; Charlie’s crazy about her. But, enough to part with the symbol of his Mortdecai birthright? When a respected art restorer is killed and a Goya stolen, Inspector Martland (Ewan McGregor) of MI5 takes command. Before long police are at the estate door – Charlie has a reputation, you see. Staying ahead of the pack – a wicked collector, cunning Russians, retribution-seeking Chinese gangsters, a stinking-rich American (Jeff Goldblum), and an international terrorist (Jonny Pasvolsky) – takes wit, and determination. And Mortdecai desperately needs the number rumored to be on the painting’s backside, and beaucoup luck.
David Koepp directs this zany, good-fun action-packed comedy. Portraying a finicky, yet charming aristocrat, Depp’s eyes twinkle devilishly when delivering one-liners oozing with innuendos. Paltrow, cool, calm, and controlled, nicely counters, while Bettany’s delivery is supple. Also worth relishing, are the animated graphics that lead us clearly from one intercontinental city to another. Matching the globe-hopping pace is impish music by Mark Ronson and Geoff Zanelli. With high production values – Florian Hoffmeister camera, and Derek Ambrosi and Jill Savitt editing – the madcap plot invites us to simply sit back and enjoy. Perhaps we should all grow mustaches and see where it leads. (Marinell Haegelin)