REVIEW: THE TOURIST
SYNOPSIS: Johnny Depp stars as an American tourist whose playful dalliance with a stranger leads to a web of intrigue, romance and danger in The Tourist. During an impromptu trip to Europe to mend a broken heart, Frank (Depp) unexpectedly finds himself in a flirtatious encounter with Elise (Angelina Jolie), an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path. Against the breathtaking backdrop of Paris and Venice, their whirlwind romance quickly evolves as they find themselves unwittingly thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Elise: Do you mean 'ravishing'?
Frank Taylor: I do.
Just like Elise (Angelina Jolie), this movie is ravishing to the eye but ravenous it is not. The strongest aspect of this film is the cast itself, as you would have imagined. Putting two huge cinematic names together, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, is bound to attract an audience by default regardless of the quality of the movie. I was really hoping that it wasn’t going to rely on just that and unfortunately, it mostly does. I had a good amount of anticipation for this movie, given these two working together, and I was only partially satisfied. They both did okay with their performances but not their best, by far. Angelina, as always, is stunning and mysterious which is her expertise. Johnny is witty and simple. He didn’t unnecessarily complicate his character. Wait, is that a good thing or a bad thing? I know you must be wondering about their chemistry together, right? Let’s put it this way, it doesn’t come close to the chemistry in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. There are some good supporting actors in the film too that helped move it along. I’ve never seen Paul Bettany give a sub par performance, even as Jarvis, Tony Stark’s main supercomputer. Here he does a fine job playing a Scotland Yard inspector. His boss is briefly but efficiently played by Timothy Dalton. Steven Berkoff is excellent at playing a bad guy and it shows again in this movie. Another performer that is good at playing mysterious is Rufus Sewell. The next strongest aspect of the film is the eye candy in the form of cinematography and filming locations. It starts in Paris and spends most of the time in Venice. Some of the views we get are simply breathtaking. I had to ask Priscilla again if her dream trip is still Paris, or would she consider Venice. The jury is still out on that one. This movie makes you want to be there.
The film has its share of mystery and thrills but it falls short in action, storyline, and script. The action is average with not a whole lot to write home about. The storyline, although interesting and with potential, was weak in its presentation, cliché, and somewhat predictable. There were a couple of moments were the movie dragged and seemed slow. It was as if the movie makers couldn’t decide to make this an action flick or a thrilling drama and it got stuck in between. There is enough action to possibly categorize it as an action movie but the action is lackluster. There are enough thrills to make it a drama thriller, but it lacks drama. What a dilemma. The script doesn’t help either. The dialogue was also cliché, weak, and lackluster. Luckily the way the story ends helps overcome some of the shortcomings of the movie. This is not a bad job for Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck being only his second major motion picture direction. Hopefully he is just getting warmed up. On the other hand, however, this does not set a strong foundation for future Jolie/Depp productions.
By Cine Marcos
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