Critique ciné : Charlie Mortdecai

charlie mortdecai_johnny depp_gwyneth paltrow_paul bettany_ewan mcgregor_david koepp_affiche_poster

Ses rôles excentriques et costumés ayant dépassé le simple cadre de sa collaboration avec Tim Burton, Johnny Depp en agace désormais plus d’un et ses détracteurs se font plus nombreux à chaque film. Les prochains Alice au pays des merveilles 2 et Pirates des Caraïbes 5 ne devraient pas inverser la tendance et on serait tenter de croire que ce Charlie Mortdecai participe de la même mouvance car après tout, il y joue à nouveau un excentrique, costumé de surcroît (même si ça se limite surtout à une magnifique et cruciale moustache). Il serait toutefois dommage de s’arrêter à cela et de ne pas découvrir ce personnage créé par le romancier britannique Kyril Bonfiglioli au début des 70′s, son passage sur grand écran revêtant un intérêt réel de par son interprète. En dehors de sa moustache (magnifique, l’a t-on dit ?), il injecte dans cet aristocrate élégant et décadent un humour inspiré des grands acteurs anglais du genre, contemporains au premier roman, allant de Peter Sellers aux Monty Python (en particulier le sketch du championnat des riches benêts). Des références qui nous manquaient un peu depuis que Austin Powers a remisé au placard ses costumes flashy et qu’on le veuille ou non, Depp est très fort dans ce registre décalé, donc pas la peine de s’énerver parce qu’il cabotine. C’est le but. D’autant qu’il ne vampirise pas tout le film et laisse s’exprimer une galerie de seconds rôles de très grande qualité : Gwyneth Paltrow réussit par exemple à rendre son histoire d’amour avec Mortdecai intéressante malgré son personnage pas forcément sympathique de prime abord, tandis que Ewan McGregor est parfait en gentil idiot dont les tentatives de malice tombent à plat. La mention spéciale revient toutefois à Paul Bettany pour son rôle de serviteur voyou mais dévoué envers et contre tout, l’inséparable et indispensable binôme du héros, sorte de Alfred chaud-lapin et bagarreur. Le casting semble en tout cas s’éclater sincèrement dans ce qui n’est pas tellement une parodie des films d’espionnage à la James Bond comme on serait tenté de le croire mais bien une comédie, policière qui plus est en dépit d’un mystère pas franchement passionnant. Le savoir-faire du réalisateur David Koepp (habile artisan plus habitué au thriller et au fantastique – Hypnose ! – mais très capable dans la farce comme le démontrait La Ville fantôme) et le plaisir de suivre cet antihéros pallient néanmoins à ce manquement, les gags et le destin des protagonistes se substituant sans peine à une véritable intrigue. En définitive, Charlie Mortdecai ne révolutionne rien (c’est même volontairement un peu suranné, en hommage aux films comme La Panthère rose) mais reste suffisamment bien emballé pour nous offrir une bonne rasade d’humour british, même incarné par un ricain pur jus. Et puis, mes aïeux, quelle moustache !

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