Not many actors need a hit as badly as Johnny Depp. Transcendence was a dud and The Lone Ranger was a dud of epic proportions. The only good film he’s appeared in over the last few years was 21 Jump Street, and that was just a small cameo. This Winter’s Into the Woods may hit, but that’s more of an ensemble piece than a Depp vehicle. That’s what makes February’s Mortdecai especially important.
Based on a series of novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli, Depp stars as Charlie Mortdecai, an art dealer in search of a painting that’s supposedly linked to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold. The film also stars Aubrey Plaza, Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn and Jeff Goldblum.
The trailer makes Mortdecai out to be some kind of dim-witted rogue, sort of in the vein of Inspector Clouseau, but better dressed and with an insane mustache that requires combing. Do all mustaches require combing? I’m not sure.
The action hops around from Europe to L.A., with little about the actual plot being revealed. The trailer is more about setting up Depp as Mortdecai, with women being attracted to him and McGregor calling him a moron. He also has a man servant, which…okay, I guess.
Written and directed by David Koepp (Stir of Echoes, Premium Rush), Mortdecai might be enough fun to pull Depp out of his funk. A February release doesn’t bode well, nor does having Koepp behind the camera. An A-list screenwriter with credits ranging from Spider-Man to Jurassic Park, Koepp has shown himself to be very hit-and-miss with his directorial efforts.
For better or worse, Mortdecai hits theaters on February 6, 2015.