don’t know why, but as I was watching early scenes of The Tourist,
the slang word “Eurotrash” popped into my mind.
That’s not exactly to say that The Tourist is trash – though it is
certainly formula. However it takes place in two of the most beautiful
cities in the world, stars two of the most beautiful actors in the world,
has some decent action sequences and some very witty repartee – there must
be something to recommend here, right?
There is, but sadly not as much as you would hope.
noticeably similar to Angelina Jolie’s last movie Salt, in which she
plays a gorgeous and inscrutable femme fatale with some big secrets
and dozens of men following her every move. And, détente be damned,
the bad guys are once again Russians and bureaucrats.
Like Salt, the action of The Tourist is flashy, but only
occasionally makes sense. In fact, out of context of the final twist ending
very little that Johnny Depp’s character does really seems plausible at
The Tourist also has the
modern action film problem of having its characters survive – without a
scratch – attacks and stunts which would certainly kill (or at least badly
injure) them in real life.
They also try to force a merging of extreme action and whimsical romantic
comedy: a style that Hollywood has been trying to cram down our throats
recently with very little success. Other examples include Killers,
Knight and Day and Angelina’s own Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
mean, I get it, they are looking for a foolproof date night formula – the
guys will love the mayhem and the women will love the love.
However, these films
rarely ever work either as a romance or as a thriller, leaving a queasy,
Therefore the positive qualities of the film – and The Tourist
certainly has some – get overwhelmed by all the conflicting plot lines.
Depp plays Frank, a Wisconsin widower math teacher who is touring Europe
alone when a woman of mystery approaches him on a bullet train from Paris to
Venice. Elise (Jolie) is gorgeous, charming, flirtatious, and has a
constant team of Interpol spies and Russian gangsters on her tail.
It seems that Elise is the former lover of a master thief who absconded with
billions of dollars from a Russian mobster. He has been back in touch and
tells her to meet him in Venice and pick up a man who is the same basic size
and shape as him on the train to be a decoy for all of her surveillance
teams. After all, there is a rumor that he has spent millions on total
reconstructive surgery, so no one knows exactly what he looks like.
You never quite get why Frank is falling so easily into lockstep with her
wants and needs – particularly when she lures him to share her huge Venetian
hotel suite but then makes him sleep on the couch – other than the very
basic shorthand that she looks like Angelina Jolie. Still, when Russian
gangsters start shooting at the guy and he’s barely gotten to first base,
maybe it’s time to look for a perhaps slightly less attractive but much
Of course, if he did that, there would be no movie. I’m on the fence about
whether or not that would be such a bad thing.
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: December 10, 2010.