Jen Yamato
The Tourist Review

Jen's Rating:

3.0

Tourism with a twist.

Who’s In It: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell

The Basics: American tourist Frank (Johnny Depp) is swept off his feet by the alluring Elise (Angelina Jolie) while vacationing in Paris. But their meeting is no accident; Elise has chosen Frank to play the patsy in an elaborate scheme to take the heat off of her lover, a white-collar fugitive being pursued by both Scotland Yard and the gangster from whom he stole a fortune. As the stakes gets higher and Frank declares his love for Elise, all the players converge among the canals and balls of Venice for a final showdown -- served, naturally, with a twist.

What’s The Deal: Dancing between dueling identities -- part exotic travelogue thriller, part romantic caper -- The Tourist is a sleek, if slight, showpiece for stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Cast just anyone (like, say, Charlize Theron and Sam Worthington, both of whom had been attached in the lead roles at one point or another) in this twist-filled European escapade and it wouldn’t be half as watchable, but Jolie and Depp’s star wattage keep the film afloat even when the plot grows increasingly preposterous. Their chemistry together, however, flirts a disappointingly chaste line; save for a few kisses, the pairing of the two former Sexiest Persons Alive never explodes into fireworks. Still, it seems all part of the plan for director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who follows up his Academy Award-winning first feature (the 2006 German-language drama The Lives of Others) with this stylish and sumptuous Hitchockian lark.

Where von Donnersmarck Makes His, Um, Mark: In the elegant compositions and visual panache on display as he films two of the world’s biggest stars in two of the world’s swankiest cities. There’s a chic flair in the way he transfixes his camera on the sensual sashaying of Jolie’s couture-swathed backside as it mesmerizes her Scotland Yard eavesdroppers and the audience at once, or in the diagonal lines he uses as a visual motif to signal that everything may not be what it seems in this world built on intrigue and deception.

When The Tourist Feels Most Worth The Effort: At the end, when it delivers the bamboozle you’ve been expecting in a way that you might have predicted but will still be entertained by. It’s the kind of conclusion that makes you think for a split second about re-watching the whole movie again to look for the clues you missed the first time around. Or: You could watch the French original, Anthony Zimmer, featuring Yvan Attal as the hapless patsy and Sophie Marceau as the femme fatale.

Bonus Cool Points: For casting former 007 Timothy Dalton as Paul Bettany’s secretly amused Scotland Yard superior. The film pays further homage to the suave spy hero by transforming Depp’s bungling math teacher into a smooth operator; he dons James Bond’s iconic white tuxedo and mans up to go after the sophisticated, secretive and sexy Jolie (who does a convincing version of the quintessential Bond girl herself).

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Comments (9)

ali - 12-11-2010 7:13 PM
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sorry, but this movie sucks! Are you sure we saw the same movie?

nancy colon - 12-12-2010 1:15 AM
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Well to each its own...I loved the movie, of course Jolie & Depp didn't have a steamy romance, she's in love with someone else..the end summed it all, with a great ending...

Susan and Lana - 12-14-2010 3:22 PM
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We loved it! Johnny Depp is one sexy man! The scenery was breathtaking. The man behind us was snoring HA! but we loved it!!!

knightsbud - 12-14-2010 6:55 PM
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Perhaps you slept thru the movie. But, we just came home from seeing the movie and think it was great. Can you explain why both Mr Depp and Ms Jolie were just annouced for awards for this film. Maybe you need to open your mind a bit more to all types of films before you right a review.

blondie - 12-16-2010 10:34 AM
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Critics, do you actually see these movies? There was NO chemistry between Jolie and Depp. And why in the world would the Golden Globes EVER give Jolie an award... ok maybe pity. She only walks in this movie and not well, she even trips once. She does give the best line of the whole movie but we had to wait till the last scene. Of course the way she was standing, laying, leaning, whatever she was doing was so sickening we almost missed the next best line... "Works for me". As far as I'm concerned Depp can't say anything bad.

JuJuB - 12-25-2010 7:46 PM
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I loved this movie. great writing and Acting... I want to buy it, can't wait. Shot beautifully.

susan - 12-26-2010 1:14 PM
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did she know it was him on the train....?????

Paula - 12-06-2011 7:08 AM
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I thought it was almost laughable... Oh really... She is with the guy she's protecting for a year and doesn't "see through" the disguise??? How about the blip when he is swimming toward the canal boat sans handcuffs which he had on only moments earlier. And... suddenly ...one camera shot later, they are on again.

Daniela - 5-20-2014 8:35 AM
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You are so wrong, Johnny have a special chamisra that not everyone have, why do you think that they cast him 26 years ago for The nightmare at Elm Street with ZERO acting experience? because they saw what we see in him today, an extraordinary gifted person which have an uncommonly magnetic and attractive personality,and to top it all up is not bad looking either!

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