The Tourist (2010)

The Tourist is the newest movie by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, starring Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff and Rufus Sewell.

Elise (Angelina Jolie) is spied upon constantly, mostly by Inspector Acheson (Paul Bettany) because she was the lover of the mysterious Alexander Pierce, who stole quite a lot of money. When said Alexander gets a message to her that she should bord a train and pick somebody who looks remotely like him and make them believe it’s himself, Elise picks Frank (Johnny Depp), a math teacher who is trying to mend his broken heart in Italy. Hijinks ensue.

The Tourist falls surprisingly flat. It has a good cast and wonderful sets and a few good jokes. But it never picks up pace or draws you in. Also, it has plot holes the size of Alaska.

I like Johnny Depp, I like Angelina Jolie and we all know that I could lick Paul Bettany all over. A movie with all of them acting well and Timothy Dalton thrown in for good measure should be entertaining no matter what they do*.

But The Tourist just doesn’t work. It remains agreeable. Nothing less, but nothing more, either. deadra is convinced that the problem was that we were supposed to believe that Johnny Depp looked like a nobody. I think the bigger problem was the script.

But whatever the reason, The Tourist doesn’t impress. The pacing is off and the plot holes are even bigger than is usual in a film of its type. (The whole movie depends on Elise picking Frank and nobody else and that just isn’t bloody likely. Just to give you an example.)

Maybe if they had focussed more on Paul Bettany’s character – and not only because more Paul Bettany makes any movie better**, but because he was interesting and underdevelopped or created some more interest otherwise, they could have brought us into the movie a bit better. But as is, one remains detached from what happens – and that’s boring.

Summarising: Meh.

*Except when Clint Eastwood is directing. Then no amount of acting prowess will make that movie exciting.
**Though to make Legion any good, he probably would have had to be naked for the entirety of the film.

3 thoughts on “The Tourist (2010)

  1. This one actually got a bit better in my mind as time has been passing. So, I figure I’ll like it just fine as long as I don’t re-watch it ^^ (Trivia question: How is “The Tourist” like “The Alchemist”? ^.~ )

    One very good thing I enjoyed immensely and that you can only get with European directors, apparently – there wasn’t a subtitle in sight. Everyone just talked in whatever language they were talking in – if you got it, it was sort of like a bonus featurette (extra jokes), and if you didn’t you still didn’t miss anything important.
    I liked that. I want more of that.

    What I didn’t like – this willful denial of the fact that Johnny Depp looks like Johnny Depp.
    “It will do” ?!?!?!?!?!???
    I mean, there’s the usual Hollywood pretension that all those amazingly beautiful Sexiest-Person-Alive-Five-Times-In-A-Row – People are completely ordinary, and then there’s making it the crucial point of your whole movie.

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