The Tourist

Review: The Tourist

By phil
26 Dec 10

Pretty faces, pretty lame.........

This ugly little piece of slam dunk marketing featuring present day reigning sex symbols Angelina Jolie and Johnnny Depp in a tepid suspensor revolving around missing cash is a clunker from the get go. It's all face time for the hotties which I surmise are supposed to turn up the heat based on their good looks alone since the vapid plot and predictable pursuers lack even a scintilla of originality or suspense. It is a cynical cash grab by all involved. As Fats Waller would say "all that meat and no potatoes."

Woman of mystery Elise Ward (Jolie) boards a train bound for Venice where she enlists Frank Tupelo (Depp) as a useful idiot to help her elude the law and the mob to rendezvous with an accomplice who has made off with an obscene amount of money. The chase is on but the pace along with just about everything else is off.

Jolie has a mega fatale look but her dialog is trite and she delivers it with a comatose inflection that more or less says, with a face and body like this whose listening? She's more runway model in the middle of a show than character of intrigue morphing at times into a stunning and stilted statue. Depp looks bored and non-committal with his rube appointed resume (Wisconsin math teacher) and scruffy look that suaves up in time to get into a clinch with Ms. Jolie, nearly matching her lifelessness.

Director Florian von Donnersmark is a major disappointment. The Tourist is his follow-up to one of the finest films of this early century, Other Peoples Lives and the drop off in cinematic skill and suspense is equivalent to falling off of Everest. Lives, a sober but suspenseful crafted work dealing with the dreaded Stasi in drab East Germany was everything this sloppy escapist drivel isn't. Bad career choice or one hit wonder von Donnermark has only this to show output wise over the last four years and it's downright ghostly.

The Tourist is one bad trip of a movie that smugly attempts to overwhelm you with its stars and locale while paying cursory attention to story, detail and substance. It is a callous, bland product example of producer condescension for an audience that will settle for the crumbs of something that looks great but runs lousy. It should do just fine at the box office.