The Tourist (M)

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The ViewDunedin Review

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Review byMatthew Turner9/12/2010

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Beautifully shot thriller that gains points for sheer star power but ultimately delivers very little in terms of action, adventure or romance.

What's it all about?
Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, The Tourist is a remake of Anthony Zimmer, a little-seen 2005 French thriller that went unreleased in the UK and US. Johnny Depp stars as maths teacher Frank Tupelo, an American tourist who meets a beautiful British woman (Angelina Jolie as Elise) on a train to Venice and soon finds himself targeted by a dogged Interpol agent (Paul Bettany), a vicious gangster (Steven Berkoff) and their various henchmen.

It transpires that Elise is acting under the orders of Alexander, her mysterious, fugitive ex-lover, who instructed her to board the train and pick someone of similar height and build in order to throw Interpol off the scent. However, as the pair zip around Venice dodging gun-toting goons and staying one step ahead of the cops, they find themselves unexpectedly falling for each other.

The Good
The obvious draw of the film is the tantalising star pairing of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in what should have been an exciting, fun packed, old fashioned Charade-style thriller. Unfortunately, both leads deliver curiously subdued performances and there's zero chemistry between them, with the script neglecting to provide anything that might conceivably pass as romance.

The supporting cast is more successful: the permanently excellent Bettany delivers a performance that's much better than the film actually deserves and Berkoff can always be relied upon for a spot of mad-eyed villainy and scenery-chomping. The film is also beautifully shot, with cinematographer John Seale making the most of the gorgeous Venice locations and there's some stylish hair and make-up work to boot - at one point Jolie goes for the full-on Sofia Loren look and it's the most memorable bit of the film.

The Bad
The lacklustre lead performances are by no means the film's only problem: for one thing, it only has two action sequences (a rooftop chase and a boat chase) and both of them are distinctly underwhelming. Similarly, there's a surprising lack of charm or humour in the script, though Depp does get at least one very funny line. On top of that, the film is lumbered with a disappointing and ultimately irritating finale that's nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is.

Worth seeing?
Despite its star power, The Tourist is a disappointing, badly written thriller that fails to provide any actual thrills.

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The Tourist (M)
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Content updated: 15/11/2018 18:07

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