Movie Review: Those with a tolerance for Johnny Depp goofing around may actually dig Mortdecai

When Lord Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) introduces himself first and then his twirly, recently grown mustache, the good-taste brigade, always wondering when Depp will quit goofing around, may begin to feel nauseated. Their nausea probably won’t subside at any point during Mortdecai, in which Depp plays an old-money British fop, a man of considerable erudition and questionable taste who moons over ridiculous paintings. In debt to the British government to the tune of £8 million, Mortdecai is approached by his old MI5 frenemy Martland (Ewan McGregor). Martland implores Mortdecai to put his knowledge of the “filthy underside of the art world” to good use by locating a stolen Goya painting.

Mortdecai takes place largely in England and revels in a cartoon Englishness, but its two leads are both American: Gwyneth Paltrow revives her Brit accent as Mortdecai’s wife, Johanna, creating a kind of faux-British symmetry of fakery. The …

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