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Mortdecai **1/2

by Matthew Kaiser

Is it worth $10? Yes

A somewhat nostalgic romp reminiscent of "The Pink Panther" movies, "Mortdecai" isn't hilarious or life changing, but it does provide a humorous and well acted mid-winter escape.

Johnny Depp, in all his mustached glory, plays Lord Charles Mortdecai, a swarmy British art collector/dealer. His faithful man servant, Jock (Paul Bettany), aids him on a quest to locate a priceless work of art that was stolen from a murdered art restorer. All the while, he struggles to keep the MI5, Russian mobsters, rival art dealers, terrorists, and his very combatant wife off his tail.

Depp starts off a bit sluggish as Mortdecai and his combination of dullness and slightly difficult to understand accent do not help. Once he has time to settle in, he makes the character his and you find yourself enjoying his hammed up presentation. Gwyneth Paltrow, as his intelligent and crafty aristocratic wife, is a perfect compliment to his over the top character. Ewan Mcgregor, as the head MI5 agent and wanna-be suitor of Mortdecai's wife, appropriately plays a straight-laced guy. Jeff Goldblum plays a rival art collector who's character is used far to briefly. Oliva Munn vamps up her sexiness and makes adequate use of her screen time. The real scene stealer is Paul Bettany as the loyal to a fault sex-crazed bodyguard and man-servant, Jock. Many of the funniest moments revolve around his spot-on delivery of dialogue and ridiculous situations.

Written by Eric Aronson and directed by David Koepp, you can tell "Mortdecai" was aimed at an adult audience that could revel in an old fashioned, over the top, witty adult comedy. It will most likely bore those who can't wait for the film to develop and it does waver the line between brilliance and idiocracy.

Many reviewers are already panning the film, and in some ways I can see why. It's not a great comedy, mystery, action, or romance movie, but it does have elements of all those things. If you can get your mind wrapped around the minds of the actors, you will better understand the reckless, entertaining, abandon that Depp and company are operating with. Then you will truly be able to appreciate and enjoy the film the way it was supposed to be enjoyed. 

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