The Tourist Movie Review
What a year for Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Or, more importantly, audiences of their films. In 2010, two of the biggest stars on the planet contributed to the world not one, not two, but three bad movies. They capped off the year by joining forces to make The Tourist, a pitifully dull and stupid caper that somehow was nominated for Best Comedy at the Golden Globes.
The Tourist stars Johnny Depp (also see: Alice in Wonderland) as Frank Tupelo, a math teacher on vacation in Venice. There he meets Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie - also see Salt), a mysterious woman who is being tracked by a government agency (MI6?) for her relationship with an international criminal. Shortly thereafter, Frank is attacked by the Russian mob and discovers that everyone he believes that he is the wanted criminal.
The movie looked bad in the previews, but it's even worse than expected. Bad acting, a terrible screenplay, a stupid plot and pathetic direction by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, whose last film was the Oscar-winning The Lives of Others, create the perfect synergy of awfulness.
The biggest problem with The Tourist is that it is incredibly boring. I fell asleep twice, primarily because it takes 45 minutes to get going and even then it plods along with dull action sequences and inexplicably lame dialogue exchanges.
The boring presentation only serves to unveil the other problems with the film, which are plenty. The story itself is weak and stupid, primarily because von Donnersmarck chooses to show the audience everything that's happening as it happens - rather than develop the story through Frank's eyes, allowing the audience to figure out the mystery as things progress. As is, there's no mystery - only the dullest spy investigation in the history of man.
All other issues are nonessential. Depp and Jolie have little chemistry together, though it is nice to see Depp playing a normal character for once. The movie looks and feels cheap, even though it had a $100 million budget. The twist at the end is also extremely dumb and nonsensical.
The Tourist is one of those movies that almost has to be seen to be believed. It is the epitome of Hollywood butchery gone wrong. Then again, it doesn't need to be seen. It shouldn't be seen. It should quickly be forgotten, relegated to the dust bunnies at the bottom bargain bin.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.