I hate to be the one to have to bring this up, but we need to talk about Johnny Depp. It’s time. It’s past time. Now mind you, this is not meant to be a Depp bashing session. Quite the opposite, I only want to help. I think he holds a special place in most of our hearts. Johnny Depp, who used to be so cool, so respected, so dreamy, the first crush of many an 80s and 90s tween, has turned into a cartoon version of himself. Have you seen the Mortecai trailers? It seems Depp always has a movie in the running for worst film of any given year, and this one looks like a strong contender for 2015. And now with the jewelry, the hats, the occasional affected accent, the very very young fiancée, and now the public spectacles, we have to ask: WHAT HAPPENED? And when? When did this man:
Turn into this man?
Let’s investigate a bit, shall we? As we know, he was always into the costumes.
And he’s always been a little silly.
He’s never been afraid to look ridiculous.
But at some point, the costumes and the camp took over, until that became his entire identity. A lot of people point to Sleepy Hollow as a turning point, and the reignition of his Burton partnership, which I think we can all agree is doing no favors to his career because, well, reasons.
But he still did a lot of good stuff after that. There was Before Night Falls and Chocolat, which, sure, maybe was’t his best work but at least had a shit ton of chocolate in it. Also, sexiness.
So maybe it was Pirates of the Caribbean that started his career sinking. That was, after all, the introduction to the character that has taken over Depp’s life. He now basically only plays different versions of Jack Sparrow, in life and on screen.
But if you can remember back to a time untainted by shitty sequels, Curse of the Black Pearl wasn’t terrible. Most of it was pretty damn enjoyable.
After that, he did some great stuff (Finding Neverland and Corpse Bride), interspersed with some terrible movies (The Libertine, I’m looking in your direction), which at this point seems to be the pattern of his entire career. He then plummeted dramatically with the Pirates sequels, followed by a minor uptick with the not terrible Sweeney Todd, before something strange happened. Depp took a year off. His IMDb page averages 3 or 4 credits a year, and had for almost twenty years preceding. But 2008 is empty. And starting in 2009, that great-movie-followed-by-shitty-movie pattern is gone. The only great thing he’s done since was voiceover, with Rango. Other than that it’s been nothing but Rum Diaries and Transcendences and Dark Shadowses all the way.
So what happened in 2008? Or more likely 2007, since he now tends to do the kind of films with a long CGI-filled post-production period. You may say that this kind of break, and a decline in work is natural after a three-decade career. Or that there’s no shame in sacrificing quality work for jewel-encrusted toilets in all the bathrooms on your yacht. But I have another theory. Because you know what else happened in right around the same time? This, friends. This happened:
Did you see that extended deep eye contact at the 2:30 mark? The physical touch? Clearly there’s only one explanation here, people. We’re obviously dealing with some sort of Body Snatchers/Twilight Zone type experience, and the mind of Johnny Depp, Respectable Actor is trapped in that animatronic figure, and the robot’s consciousness is possessing Real Depp’s body, probably with some sort of evil robot agenda that hinges on the destruction of art. Look at the evidence:
It’s the only explanation.