Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Keith Robinson
Markus Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language
“The Tourist” is throwback to the 50’s romantic espionage films, but will overall play out in a somewhat disappointing and predictable way. Directed by Florian Henckel von Vonnersmarck (that was a mouthful) and starring the two biggest names in Hollywood never to have worked together, Johnny Depp (Sweeny Todd, Alice in Wonderland) and Angelina Jolie (Salt, Changling), “The Tourist” will turn out to be too old-timey for many younger audiences to stay with. This is clearly an homage to the great espionage films of the 1950’s and 60’s and definitely will have its audience with every 70+ year old that still has their license and can go to the movies. But in the end this film will be a box office failure because it missed its intended target (young people with money).
The film itself centers around an unknown character, who is being chased by the London police as well as big time Russian mobsters. This character seems to have stolen a substantial amount of money and the only person who has any kind of contact with him is his wife, ex British police officer, Elise Ward (Jolie). So it happens that she receives a mysterious note as she sips a cup of tea outside of a French café (oh how quaint). The message directs Elise to find an unsuspecting man and make the police and mobsters believe that this man is her husband. Can you see where I am going with this? Along comes unsuspecting math teacher Frank Tupelo (Depp), and after a few funny back and forth between Elise and Frank, he ends up being chanced by mobsters and police. Clearly a case of mistaken identity right? And slight chuckles ensue.
One would think, before seeing this film, that with the combination of Jolie and Depp, the movie would have been…um I don’t know, better! Depp does do a good job here. He is generally funny in his own witty yet odd-ball kind of way, delivering his one liners with subtle comic timing. But when all is said and done Jolie adds little to this film, other than a few wardrobe changes and lip pouts. How she was nominated for a Golden Globe for this role is baffling.
All in all, this movie plays like “film by numbers”. Every step is as predictable as the last and the ending is so very, very…very obvious. As conventional as the story is, most of it is not believable and really makes such little sense, that by the end of the movie you will be willing to accept any resolution just as long as the film ends.
“The Tourist” is a film that 50 years ago would have starred Carrey Grant and Ingrid Bergman (and no, before the hate mail comes, I am not comparing Jolie to Bergman or Depp to Grant, but they do mighty good impressions of them in this film) and would have been successful….1962, but not today. The film is set in France and Italy, so the chase scenes through the canals as are spectacular and the costume changes are extravagant, but overall this film is past its expiration date (meaning, its to old fashioned to be taken seriously). “The Tourist” comes off as quaint, but not much more than that.
Final Thought: “The Tourist” will deliver a few chuckles and moments of entertainment, but all and all it is pretty forgettable film. Unless you enjoy Johnny Depp’s acting, old espionage films or just looking at Angelina Jolie for two hours then “The Tourist” isn’t for you. My advice: Wait for DVD.