My wife and I went to see a pre-release of Mortdecai tonight. Directed by David Koepp (Premium Rush, Secret Window) and starring Johnny Depp, Gweneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany.

First admission; I had no idea what this movie was going to be about going into it. I had only seen the poster, and the poster is terrible.

That is a terrible poster.

Secondly; I am only occasionally fond of Johnny Depp. I find him too often guilty of hamming it up when a bit of restraint would make for a better movie, and I think that Tim Burton has ruined him in many a picture. If I had seen the trailer, I might have given my tickets away.

That is a terrible trailer.

 

The thing is, this movie was fun. Damn fun.

It had a bit of the hammy, foppish over acting of Depp right off the bat, but it settles down and takes his character on a good journey. I think it was a little part “The Brothers Bloom” and a little part “Snatch”, with a touch of Wes Anderson thrown in. These are all things that I quite like, and I quite liked Mortdecai.

The cast is pretty solid, each player performing well, with special notice to Paul Bettany’s Jock the man-servant. (Seriously, he’s most likely the best, most bad-ass man-servant I’ve ever seen in film.) The cinematography is good, and there’s enough action mixed in to not get too bogged down with some of the sillier moments. Depp does over-act at times, but he also delivers some of the best lines in the movie off-handedly, almost casually throwing them out there, and I chortled at a few of them that no one else in the theatre caught.

It has a British, 70’s kind of vibe about it, in no small part on it being based on a 70’s adventure novel, and I could see it as an old Michael Caine vehicle in all it’s grainy glory.

Punches, art, and probably too many vomit gags (pun intended) all sort of made for a fresh-feeling movie that’s better than it has any business being. I don’t care, really, and I’m gonna say it’s worth going out to see.

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