From the writer/screenwriter that brought us such great stories such as Toy Soldiers, Death Becomes Her, Jurassic Park, Carlito’s Way and Mission Impossible, now David Koepp (Premium Rush) brings us an Eric Aronson comedy that is very reminiscent of the books of Stephen Potter (One-Upmanship, School For Scoundrels), so wonderfully portrayed by the marvellous Terry Thomas (Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes). But this film is based on Mortdecai a series of comic thriller novels written by cult artist, English author Kyril Bonfiglioli.
Lord Charlie Mortdecai is a rogue art dealer. Despite his upbringing or maybe because of it, he really only cares about himself and his own well-being. He travels the world selling off whatever he can at exorbitant prices, which gets him into trouble with the Chinese gangster, Fang (Junix Inocian, The 51st State) who Mortdecai has swindled before and Fang wants recompense (a finger or two). Mortdecai isn’t too happy with this and enlists the help of his trusted man-servant Jock (Paul Bettany, Transcendence) who is an accomplished fighter and lover (which he indulges at every opportunity). After surviving his encounter with Fang, he returns to the UK where we meet his wife Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow, Iron Man, 2,3) who is definitely not enamoured with his latest acquisition, his moustache. This shows up the troubles within their marriage, never mind the very fast approaching insolvency (£8 million debt). She wants his favourite “Sheridan” sold at auction to help pay off the debt.
Meanwhile, an art restorer Miss Bronwen (Norma Atallah, Les Misérables) is murdered whilst restoring a Francisco Goya painting by Emil Strago (Jonny Pasvolsky, Home and Away). This sets off a chain of events as we find out that this painting is not only very valuable but also contains a code that could lead to Nazi Germany’s stash of riches, so everybody who is dodgy wants this painting. This is why MI 5’s Alistair Martland (Ewan McGregor, Son of a Gun) enlists Mortdecai for a 10% finders fee to get the painting back. Martland has ulterior motives for this move as he has always had deep feelings for Johanna, who doesn’t seem to mind that she has two men after her.
What ensues is a typically British comedy that has our protagonists roaming the World dodging assassins, kidnappers and murderers. With a great supporting cast from the likes of Jeff Goldbum (Independence Day), Paul Whitehouse (Finding Neverland), Michael Culkin (Mr Turner) and Olivia Mann (Freeloaders) you are in for a barrel of laughs.