I Want The Old Johnny Depp Back, But ‘Mortdecai’ Looks Like More of the Same

By August 12, 2014

I want Johnny Depp back. Don’t you? Wouldn’t you like to see another legitimately great performance from a guy generally considered to be one of the best actors of his generation? The trailer for Mortdecai came out today, and unfortunately, this does not look like it will grant my wish.

Looks familiar, doesn’t it? Depp’s playing another bizarre guy who seems a bit out of sync with the rest of the world, prone to weird twitches and bug-eyed reactions to things. Depp is back in Captain Jack Sparrow mode again, even if he never dons a pirate hat; it’s the style of acting that has come to define the actor’s work over the past decade, and the glut of it has made a lot of movie fans yearn to see him play a normal character once again.

I thought his 2009 portrayal of John Dillinger in Public Enemies worked very well, and I never got around to seeing Transcendence, but those are essentially the only “normal” guys he’s played in the past five years. I’m not sure if it’s the filmmakers he’s working with, or an active choice on Depp’s part to seek out these kinds of roles, but I hope that he doesn’t pull an Eddie Murphy here.

Eddie Murphy

Murphy was one of the biggest stars on the planet – a bankable A-lister – but after a string of terrible choices, audiences essentially rejected him at the box office. Like Murphy, I think Depp is too talented to end up with that fate, but his upcoming slate of projects – which includes sequels to Pirates and Alice in Wonderland – doesn’t do much to comfort me. Yes, Mortdecai could end up being surprisingly funny and charming, and I sincerely hope that it is. But that trailer makes it look like another step in the wrong direction.

Do you think there’s still hope for Depp to make a comeback? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.
  • Lil Dragon

    While a serious role would be nice, I can’t help but laugh at this a bit. I love the bit with the man servant and the bit with the gun.