Review: The Tourist

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Posted December 11th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

In an attempt to throw off investigators that are following her in search of her lover that has gone into hiding, Elise (Angelina Jolie) spots Frank (Johnny Depp) on a train ride and uses him as a diversion. See, her man Alexander stole a huge sum of money a few years ago from a mobster and is being sought for retribution by him as well. Frank is suitable as a pawn with the others believing he could be Alexander given the expectation that he has changed his appearance through surgery.

Of course not everything is as it seems, and in that sense The Tourist goes for a few twists that end up being all too predictable and result in some inconsistencies. Despite that the approach to the film is relatively light and that is a pleasant departure from the typical projects Jolie and Depp are involved with. It all turns out to be a mildly entertaining ride that feels a bit empty in the end.

The potential was there for this to be a really fun film in the mold of Knight and Day from earlier this year, and I typically really like the tongue-in-cheek events that happen when one party is completely out of their element and the other is calm and in full control.┬áThat is the feel that the movie initially has but then it diverts about halfway through as Frank begins to make decisions that don’t exactly vibe with someone being placed in danger. No matter how sexy the woman involved may be.

There was not a whole lot of action involved which I didn’t necessarily find to be a negative. I actually quite enjoyed the more deliberate pacing and subtleties of their relationship building with each other over the course of the film. Despite that there never was an overriding sense of worry about what was going to happen and the developments, particularly with Elise and her background, were deflating. I preferred her as more mysterious and with questionable motives.

Seemingly as always Johnny Depp was the highlight as he was really amusing in the role. I especially found the early interaction between the two characters fun and realistic in a way that isn’t the norm. Elise got the attention you would imagine Jolie would get walking into a room. Everyone would look at her and those talking to her got nervous. Depp pulled this off really well while not entering into the realm of a bumbling fool.

The Tourist is not a movie I would necessarily recommend but it also isn’t one I’d sway someone away from seeing. It is mildly amusing throughout but could be picked apart easily if so desired and is somewhat predictable in the turns it takes. Still the interaction between Depp and Jolie, particularly through the first half of the film, is fun to watch.

Rating: ★★½☆☆