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Trivia / Goofs
Summary / Analysis
Times of India
Mortdecai (Depp) is an art dealer who knows his Raphael from a Rembrandt. Almost on the verge of bankruptcy, his fortunes could however turn around when he is approached by the Mi5 to trace a valuable Goya, once captured by Hermann Goring, that contains a secret code to a treasure trove of Nazi gold.
From the moustache down to his character's bon vivant-isms, this is among Johnny Depp's craziest and looniest screen outings. We get an inkling of this in the opening scene, where the debonair Mortdecai (with Oxford accent on fourth gear) meets three Chinese toughs for an art deal. Mortdecai has cheated them in the past and they now intend to collect. The meeting quickly degenerates into a bar brawl and it is Mortdecai's manservant Jock Strapp (Bettany) who saves him from a premature end. And indeed, Jock (also shown to have a voracious sexual appetite) routinely saves Mortdecai's ass throughout the movie.
Johanna (Paltrow) is Mortdecai's statuesque wife who is as mortified about her husband's freakish facial fuzz as she is about their impending insolvency, despite living an unabashedly aristocratic life. He is approached by Martland (McGregor) of the Mi5 and is coerced into recovering the lost Goya. The hunt then takes him to Russia and LA. The only trouble is that there are others who will do anything to get their hands on it too. Not helping Mortdecai is the fact that the dashing Martland has eyes for the lovely and willing Johanna when he is away.
Everything, from the accents to the mannerisms of the title characters, is impeccably British to the point of parody. The film is paced well but unfortunately, a lot of the jokes fall flat. The film simmers but never really sizzles, despite moments of potential. Mortdecai's stiffly waxed moustache stays unruffled through car chases and fist fights and shades of Jack Sparrow clearly creep in many times, especially when it comes to Depp's by-now familiar sozzled-and-swaying screen routine. While the script is lacklustre, it is only Depp's talent that keeps this film afloat.
Charlie Mortdecai is a connoisseur of good food, fine libations, beautiful women and the most elite trappings of wealth.
As one of the U.K.’s busiest stunt coordinators and second-unit action directors, Rowley Irlam has either coordinated or performed in some of the biggest action movies including Guardians of the Galaxy, The Legend of Hercules, Thor: Dark World, Captain Phillips, Prometheus and Skyfall, for which he received a SAG Award for Outstanding Action Performance in a Motion Picture.
Gwyneth Paltrow was not the initial first choice for the lead role.
Mordecai is the second film directed by David Koepp featuring Johnny Depp. The first one being the 2004 adaption of Stephen King's ‘The Secret Window’.
Mortdecai marks Johnny Depp's third time collaboration with Paul Bettany. The two previously worked together on ‘Trancendence’ (2014) and ‘The Tourist’ (2010).
Gwyneth Paltrow starred in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, in which her love interest/non-blood brother's pet falcon was named Mordecai, which almost sounds like Mortdecai.
In once scene, Jock gets shot in the arm. While it is not clear if it was a graze or a bad wound, Jock appears fine in the next few scenes.
When Mortdecai is being interrogated by the Russians, he is punched by a goon. However, the punch can clearly be seen to not connect with his face.
The film opens with an interior shot of a kitschy Oriental restaurant and the camera pans across the room, till it reaches Mortdecai's table, where he is seated with a group of Chinese. They open a case and place a vase on the table. The vase is worth a lot and Mortdecai immediately becomes interested. However, the deal is just a cover up for the fact that Depp, in true scoundrel fashion, had swindled them in an earlier deal to the tune of $2 million. A fight soon breaks out and Jock Strapp comes to the aid of Mortdecai and they affect an early escape.
When they reach back home, Johanna comes in and is really put off with her husband Mortdecai's new moustache. She tries to get him to shave it off but when he politely but firmly refuses, she tells him that he will be sleeping in the guest bedroom and that she will be taking her dinner in her bedroom. She also tells him that they need to start selling off various pricey family heirlooms and artworks in order to keep themselves from staring down the barrel of insolvency.
His art skills attract the attention of Martland of the British intelligence agency Mi5 and he tells Mortdecai that this painting done by Goya is worth a lot more than just its antiquity. Apparently, the painting was captured by German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) Hermann Wilhelm Goring among many others priceless works of art. During the last days of the Third Reich, Inspector Martland tells Mortdecai that the head of the Luftwaffe his away a hige stash of gold worth hundreds of millions in the present day, and the only information regarding its whereabouts was a code scrawled on the back of the painting. The issue is that the Russians as well as other unsavory elements know about the secret of the painting and they are all after it.
Mortdecai is kidnapped and taken to Moscow where he is questioned by the Russians about where the painting is. Mortdecai manages to escape thanks to Jock Strapp, who rescues him from under their noses.
The painting itself was given to an old lady named Bronwen who is an art restorer. She is assassinated and the painting is taken from her, where it then circulates in the art black market. That's the public story. But unknown to all except a few, the painting was stashed away in Mortdecai's own Rolls Royce. And coincidentally, Mortdecai decides to sell that very same Rolls Royce to a wealthy dealer in America named Krampf, played by Jeff Goldblum who has a nymphomaniac daughter who intends to steal the painting. Mortdecai does not know that the painting is in his car. After being rescued in Russia, Martland tells Mortdecai that he has to go to LA to make sure that the car is delivered. Once the car reaches the destination, Krampf, much to Mortdecai and Jock's surprise, removes the stashed painting and tells them to stick around for the night as he intends to 'unveil' this lost Goya painting. Krampf does not know that the painting has a secret code.
While Mortdecai is in LA, his wife Johanna meets Martland (who used to and still has a crush on her) over a Chardonnay lunch and extracts information from him about the Goya. She then travels to LA where she sees her husband in a compromising position with Krampf's daughter Georgina. Krampf is murdered and after a scuffle leading them all to a motel, where Georgina and her accomplice try to extract the code. The room is however, destroyed in an explosion. That painting is then revealed to be fake when Johanna tells her husband that the real painting is in the loo (albeit a very fancy one) of an English lord. It turns out that this lord was commander of a company in WWII and one of his men who captured Goring had seized the painting.
The real one has been in his house ever since. So, husband and wife hotfoot it back to England and recover this painting. But they realize that they cannot tell anyone or else they'll immediately become a target. So, Johanna and Mortdecai orchestrate an auction with a fake of the same painting. It is bought by an art dealer Sir Graham, who then sells it to the Russians for a hefty amount. When it is found to be fake, the Russians electrocute Sir Graham's testicles in a show of revenge. Meanwhile back in England. Mortdecai and Johanna can finally rest easy knowing that their dues have been paid and no one is after them. In the final scene, Mortdecai agrees to have his moustache shaved off but when Johanna realizes that he is ready to make this 'sacrifice' for her, she allows him to keep it, much to his satisfaction. The film ends as they finally kiss.
David Koepp's American action comedy film Mortdecai starring Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow is out in the theatres.
Here's what the audience tweeted about the film...
If Strapp finds out that some idiot in a mustache is going around posing as Mr. Mortdecai there will be blood.