Bad Will Hunting: Johnny Depp’s “The Professor” Trailer

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What the FUCK happened to Johnny Depp?

I have a secret: the only reason I started Fantasy Merchant up again was to ask this very question. Now that I’ve done it, I can quit happy.

OK, bye folks.

But seriously…what the fuck happened to Johnny Depp?

To which you might answer: “well he abused Amber Heard, dumbass” OR “Amber Heard abused him, dumbass” or “the Hunter S. Thompson shit fucked up his brain…dumbass!”

I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve such a hostile theoretical response from you, but let us first regard this new trailer for his upcoming movie The Professor.

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The cringe level on this trailer is like up to ELEVEN. Depp is playing a drunk Professor who is apparently dying, and also he appears literally drunk. To be completely excruciatingly honest, I get the creepy ironic feeling from this trailer that I do from the last movies of troubled actors.

I mean fuck…we could go back to 2014 Transcendence and Depp STILL has that sort of permanently drunk, distant “vibe” to him. (Of course…the real star of Transcendence was Paul Bettany & he pretty much had to carry the goddamn film on his back, but that’s a separate post).

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But it’s also…a dark vibe. I get a really really dark vibe from Depp’s performances over the last five years, which works AMAZING when he’s making a film like Black Mass…but not-so-great with a comedy like Mortdecai (which Bettany ALSO carried). It’s the vibe of a career actor who is like: “I’m fucking DONE. I am tired & done & unlike Nic Cage, I can’t even PRETEND that I’m having any fun paying these mounting bills.”

And regardless of what your opinion is about the Amber Heard thing…it’s just sad. It’s very noticeable, and really sad. And I think it all hit me the most—up to the point I saw The Professor trailer—when I watched him play Ratchett in the remake of Murder on the Orient Express.

Depp used to be the ingenue, the “magic boy,” this iconic figure from the 1990s bringing to life all these characters of wonder…maybe many of them were darkly-tinged characters, but they still had this depth (if you will excuse the pun) of “innocence” about them. Edward Scissorhands. Ed Wood. Gilbert Grape. William Blake from Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man.

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But watching Depp in Orient Express—portraying the villainous and foreboding Ratchett, a character I couldn’t imagine him doing even 10 years ago—well, he was really great in that role. He was really convincing. But again, it’s like this fuzzy boundary between his personal life and the role…which we see in spades in The Professor trailer…and it has a whiff of “cringe” about it. I feel like it’s all supposed to be “ironic”…but it just smacks of cringe.

As Birth.Movies.Death. noted, “There is a higher than normal amount of nope at play here.”

And as some wag on Reddit dubbed it, The Professor, at least based on the trailer, seems like “Bad Will Hunting.”

That all said…enjoy the trailer!

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