In reality bona-fide movie stars are far and few, but the two that should instantly come to mind are Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Combined the two stars make over 113 million dollars a year. So me let me just ask the question, why on earth would these two talented performers team up to do a film that’s so implausible, so miss conceived and most of all so ludicrous?
“The Tourist” is supposed to be a romantic comedy mixed with some light action. The plot consists of Elise (Angelina Jolie), a sexy and mysterious woman, and Frank (Johnny Depp), a math teacher from Wisconsin. The film opens in Paris, but when Elise receives a mysterious message from her so-called “lover”, she hops on a train and heads to Venice. Guess whom she happens to meet on the train? Johnny Depp! I mean Frank. The two glance at eachother and immediately engage in a conversation.
Now please try to bare with me while I explain this disaster of a plot. Elise is under heavy surveillance from the Scotland Yard and a German mobster. The reason? The guy she is going back to Venice for, embezzled over 2 billion dollars from this German mobster. I could go on, but all you need to know is that the two leads start to fall for eachother, the chases scenes are redundant and it has possibly the most anserine conclusion I’ve seen in a film this year.
Not once throughout the movie do you care about these characters. It’s not because these people are unlikable, it’s simply the writing that gives us nothing to hold on to, nothing to revert to and finally nothing for us to care about.
A movie like “The Tourist” can work, it was done earlier in the year with “Knight and Day”. But this film fails for the same reason “Knight and Day” hit. Chemistry. The two leads have none. Jolie and Depp have two completely different personalities, yet they fall in love with each other after two days together? Love doesn’t work that way, sorry.
After doing some research I found out who designed this mess of a film. I regret ever looking it up. Christopher McQuarrie, who co-wrote “The Tourist”, wrote one of my favorite films of all time, “The Usual Suspects”. This is a huge disappointment for me. I don’t understand how such a talent could write such a lousy script. Also Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director and writer of “The Tourist”, directed “best foreign film” of 2006, “The Lives of Others”.
The upside is we actually have some good performances here. The two leads are individually good, but as a couple they fail. Paul Bettany plays the investigator for Scotland Yard, who is always appears to be one-step behind, very well. And Steven Berkoff plays the German mobster with great intensity.
Also there is no denying that the cinematography in “The Tourist” is flawless. John Seale (cinematographer) shoots Venice in such a striking manner. He captures the uniqness of the narrow streets and glorious canals exceedingly well. Oh, let’s not forget how he presents Jolie in the sexiest way possible. (I felt like I was watching a slideshow of Jolie throughout the course of the film)
I’ve came to the conclusion that “The Tourist” is unquestionably bad and at the same time just plain meaningless. If your out on a Friday night looking for a movie, this isn’t the worst you can do. But in the end “The Tourist” is like looking at the cover of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Magazine; beautiful to look at for about ten seconds, but ultimately forgettable.