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The Tourist (DVD)

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Genre: Crime & Thriller / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck / Actors: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton ... / DVD released 2011-04-25 at Optimum Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      14.01.2014 15:33
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      another film set in Venice

      Paris. Good-looking, elegantly dressed Elise Clifton-Ward, a British woman, (Angelina Jolie) leaves her house and high-heels* to a street café to have breakfast. A passing cyclist puts a letter on her table. She reads it, burns it and goes to the train station to board the next train to Venice. No going home and packing a suitcase like any ordinary woman would do. The letter is signed by a certain Alexander Pierce. He tells her to look for a male passenger who resembles him physically and befriend him during the train ride. She picks a Mr Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), an American maths teacher, as her decoy.

      Venice. Elise invites Frank to stay with her in her expensive hotel room. Standing at the window they kiss. They're photographed by a bunch of men who then set an operation in motion to find out who Frank really is. It turns out that he's an American maths teacher.

      Now, what is all this about? By and by we learn that Alexander Pierce is a criminal who owes the British government 744 million GBP in taxes. Elise is an Interpol agent who was ordered to find Pierce and hand him over. She did find him two years before but fell in love with him and didn't help her employers in any way. They've suspended her and keep her under constant surveillance hoping Pierce will contact her again one day. Interpol is not the only party interested in the man. There's also the gangster Reginald Shaw from whom Pierce stole 2.3 billion $. Yes, this Pierce plays it big.

      The rest of the story is a cat and mouse play. Will Pierce make his appearance and contact Elise? What is going to happen to simple Frank from Dullsville, USA, who's been pulled into a scheme he doesn't understand? Will the British government and the gangster get their money back? Will there be a happy-ever-after for Elise and Alexander? I have to confess that I'm a bit thick when it comes to complex plots. Too many twists and turns and the author or director loses me. With The Tourist I felt okay. I watched the film three weeks ago and still remember the plot. So, construction-wise there's nothing to complain. Yet, I'm not happy. I don't believe the basic claim upon which the whole story is built. I'm no expert in the field which is touched here, but I simply can't believe that what we're meant to believe is realistic. Of course, it's possible, that I'm too pedantic, that I should take things just as they're presented to me by the script-writers (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie and Julian Fellowes) and the director (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck). Unfortunately, I can't do that, if the fundament isn't firm, the whole construction wavers.

      The reason why I ordered the DVD from Lovefilm is that I wanted to see Angelina Jolie in a film at last. I don't live under a stone, I've known about the woman for ages. It's not possible to inform oneself in the print media about what's going on in the world without coming across her. When I go shopping in the supermarket, I always pass the shelves with the Yellow Press to be up to date. I must have seen her on mag covers a zillion times. So what is her acting like? The American writer Dorothy Parker comes to mind who is said to have commented on an actress's** performance, "She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B." Angeline Jolie doesn't act, she is. What is she? Well, she's Angelina Jolie. A hunger hook (the wrists!) with a face sculpted by a plastic surgeon, her lips looking like Dalí's sofa.*** It amused me to look at her and the (twelve) elegant outfits made for her for this film. But I won't rush to see her again for her acting skills. She wasn't the first choice as leading lady. Charleze Theron had been asked first. Jolie admitted in an interview with Vogue Magazine that the only reason she agreed to do this movie was because she knew it would be a "quick shoot" in Venice.

      I knew Johnny Depp only from the film Chocolat. I followed his further career also only in the print media. Knowing full well that his fans will collect stones to help me to a premature demise I nevertheless dare to voice my opinion here: Depp is not good in this film. At the beginning his face is more puffed up than at the end. My interpretation is that the first scenes were shot last and the actor indulged too much in the good Italian cuisine and wine. Admittedly, his rôle in The Tourist asks for a simpleton who's snowed under by events he doesn't understand. (Btw, 'Depp' is a southern German dialect term for a daft man). Yes, but, a different actor may have done this better. He looks a bit mopish to me. Maybe the pay wasn't high enough for him? Maybe he wasn't fascinated by Angelina Jolie? In the extras he waxes lyrical about Venice. So at least he got something out of the job. Which job, though? Of the 21 one stunt players 19 are male. I wonder which of them jumped across the rooftops of the Venetian palazzi in pyjamas, which one fell into the awning of a fruit stall from above. Depp wasn't the first choice, either. He stepped in after Tom Cruise and Sam Worthington opted out. The film was shot at record speed because Depp had to leave for Hawaii where more interesting Caribbean adventures were waiting for him.

      The rest of the cast is ok. The policemen look eager, the gangsters look vicious - what more does one want. Paul Bettany is Inspector Acheson heading the staff out to catch Alexander Pierce. He shows a lot of enthusiasm. He turned down the lead role of King George VI in The King's Speech in lieu of appearing in this film. (He has since stated that move was the biggest mistake he has ever made.) The main gangster, a Brit, (Steven Berkoff) surrounds himself with Russian thugs giving the story a Bondian flair.

      I mustn't forget to mention Venice where the story is set. Why Venice? There's no reason inherent in the story why this town should have been chosen. But one must admit that it's more photogenic than, say, downtown Detroit. It just looks good and a director can rely on a positive reaction by nearly all spectators. It's a feel-good factor which can brighten up an otherwise not so bright story. Should there be spectators who fall for the fascination of the place as shown in this film and go visit, they'll be in for some disappointment, though. Only very early in the morning or at night is it possible to find such empty spaces as shown in the film. For the rest of the day it's tourists, tourists, tourists - with the odd Venetian in between.

      A reason why I order films from Lovefilm is that I can watch them in English. Mainstream films shown in German cinemas are always dubbed. There's so little dialogue in this film that I was rather frustrated. Because of this I also watched the extras which is something I don't usually do. I must say I heard more English in these clips than in the film proper. Some interviews took place on boats running through the canals. Everyone waxed lyrical about shooting the film in Venice. Yeah, well, but it's a film after all, not a feature for National Geographic, isn't it?

      I would like to praise the director, my countryman Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, but I can't do this whole-heartedly. Not surprisingly, he wasn't first choice, either. After Lasse Hallström and Bharat Nalluri he was the third and final director to try his hand on the film.

      I was very surprised to see the name Julian Fellowes as one of the script collaborators. Julian Fellowes! The author of the novel Snobs and the man responsible for Downton Abbey! Whatever was he hired for? He has said in interviews that little of his work on the screenplay ended up on screen. I'm ready to believe this. The highpoint of humour and wittiness is perhaps this dialogue (Naturally, I don't know which of the screenwriters thought of it) :
      Italian policeman: "You wish to report a murder."
      Frank Taylor: "Attempted murder."
      Italian policeman : "That's not so serious."
      Frank Taylor: "Not when you downgrade it from murder. But when you upgrade it from room service, it's quite serious."

      I can't comment on the music in this film. That has nothing to do with its quality. Film music is always lost on me. The moment the film has ended I've forgotten it.

      To come to a conclusion: This is a film only for hard core fans of Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp and/or Venice.
      ----
      P.S.
      *No need to comment.
      **Catherine Hepburn
      ***Google: 'Dalí, sofa, lips' and you'll see what I mean.

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        12.03.2013 16:45
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        Good fun, a great family film, well conceived ending.

        The Tourist:
        I'd been looking forward to watching this again.
        After catching it in the cinema on release I found myself suffering from a bit of a mental block and not able to remember much about it, so I recorded it on the old Sky+ when it came on TV a few weeks back and last night I found myself with a couple of hours to kill so sat down and gave it another go.

        CAST (main)
        --------------
        Angelina Jolie as Elise Clifton-Ward
        Johnny Depp as Frank Tupelo
        Paul Bettany as Inspector John Acheson
        Steven Berkoff as Reginald Shaw
        Timothy Dalton as Chief Inspector Jones.

        All in all the cast was quite well assembled.
        Angelina Jolie was clearly the 'star', despite both her and Depp being huge names to score on the cast-list. Her salary was rumoured to be in the region of $20million, while Johnny Depp managed to negotiate a not insignificant $15,000,000 for his hard work!
        There were times when Jonny Depps 'Frank' was a bit unbelievable though, particularly the romantic scenes with Angelina Jolies 'Elise'. They clearly exist in different worlds and the whole 'falling for a bit of rough' thing doesn't really work here as Depp stumbles through scenes uncomfortably while looking as though he needs a good wash and the loan of somebodies comb!
        Paul Bettany, while a thoroughly good actor and one I enjoy watching, seemed a little bit flustered as the pursuing inspector and entirely overshadowed by his boss, expertly played by seasoned 'thesp' and silver screen favourite Timothy Dalton, when they share screen time.
        Berkoff is just excellent, and for me totally steals the show as the mob boss who has been liberated of close to 2 billion dollars by an ex-employee and is out for cold blooded revenge! He oozes menace and is physically imposing despite his, ahem, 'advanced years', and his goons compliment his character perfectly.


        The Plot
        ---------------
        Simple enough premise to this film and it is modelled very closely on a French movie named Anthony Zimmer.
        Angelina Jolie plays Elise, the on/off lover of an on-the-run conman who goes by the name of Alexander Pearce.
        Prior to the events in the film, Pearce masterminded the theft of $2billion from his employer Reginald Shaw, a gangster with gambling and prostitution rackets across Europe worth many billions of dollars. After carefully laundering the money through various legal business ventures in the UK Pearce now also owes Revenue & Customs slightly over £744 million in unpaid tax! Oops.
        As Pearce has vanished without a trace (presumed to be living under an assumed identity after several million pounds worth of reconstructive plastic surgery) both Shaws henchmen and Scotland Yards 'financial crimes' division are tailing Elise hoping to catch Pearce if and when he contacts her.

        All of their prayers are answered when Pearce sends Elise a letter telling her to catch a train to Venice where he will be waiting. Her instructions are to choose a decoy to sit with on the train; someone of the approximate height and build of Pearce who her not-so-secret tails will presume to be the man himself, therefore allowing her to slip away and meet the real Pearce.
        Enter Johnny Depp as a vacationing schoolteacher totally taken in by Angelina Jolies charms, and hung out as bait for the pursuing police and villains.

        Still with me? Hmmm.

        What follows is a pretty competent action/comedy/thriller rippling across the gorgeous scenery of Venice as a confused Depp escapes death and arrest at every turn, Scotland Yard figure out that Johnny Depp is not an international fraudster after all but just a tourist and therefore re-focus their efforts on the real villain, while the wronged gangster Shaw bulls his way across streets and canals with Alexander Pearces death the only thing on his mind! (aside from taking back his cash, of course).


        No spoilers in my reviews, but there are two good twists in the plot with one quite surprising one at the midpoint and another less surprising one closer to the end...

        The ending is a very cleverly developed storyline and is delivered perfectly, wrapping up all three story arcs and almost ensuring that there will be no need for a sequel which is a rare thing in itself!

        ACTION!
        ---------------
        Blink and you miss it, sadly.
        There are two or three potentially great set-pieces in the movie. One of the better is an adrenaline fuelled chase across Venetian rooftops, another is (obviously) a speedboat chase through the narrow Venice canals. While these are both very entertaining diversions, there just doesn't seem to be any pace or sense of urgency, or even the slightest element of peril. Whether that's down to the acting I'm not sure - it probably plays a part - but for me personally I feel it's the lacklustre musical backdrop and poor camera angle choices from our Director, the German born New-Yorker Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck. He's not a seasoned Hollywood director and is much more suited to slow-burning tense thrillers, and it feels like a bit of a punt putting him at the helm of a huge budget blockbuster here. Like putting a rowing boat captain at the wheel of an ocean liner!


        Reception;
        -----------------
        Slated.
        Seriously, the critics seemed to hate this. Whether it was just a poor effort in direct comparison to the original French version I'm not sure, but I personally don't think it deserved the poor reputation it garnered from a handful of pre-release reviews. Certainly not a classic, but not an awful movie by any stretch of the imagination.
        'Forgettable' is a word the critics used a lot, or 'unmemorable', and that I have to agree with. I watched it at the cinema and still had to watch it again as I couldn't really remember any stand-out features. Still good fun though.
        It did win a couple of teen-choice awards though, and that often spells the end of a movies credibility with an adult audience - even one with a 12 rating such as this.

        Budget?
        ------------
        With a cast-list reading like this one, it was never gonna be a cheap affair!
        $100 million budgeted, though rumours are the two stars salaries pushed it over by as much as 10%.
        Still, figures state that it took back almost $280million worldwide, allowing the production team to breath a huge sigh of relief (it flopped in the USA, taking $67million total revenue!)

        Overall;
        -------------
        I think I've summed it up as I've gone along, but I did enjoy this movie.
        The action is watered down and rather muted and I feel this could have been a runaway success with a 15 certificate slapped on allowing the director to give the actions scenes some sharper teeth, but it's still a good fun action romp which keeps us guessing until the finale.
        The rating makes this entirely suitable for family viewing however, and aside from some shooting towards the end it really is quite harmless fun.

        Rated 3 stars. Borderline 4 as the casting and acting are top notch, but I do think the action sequences let it down that much.


        K

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          22.02.2013 20:18
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          a police chase, romance in Venice

          A few weekends ago I was wanting to watch a film and a DVD I have had sitting in my collection for a while is The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, it came out in 2010 and I had been meaning to watch it for a while. I think what had been putting me off watching it was that it had quite a mix of reviews and it didn't make me desperate to watch it even though it did have a good cast. The plot did sound good though and since I had no other films I really wanted to watch I decided to sit down and see what I thought of this film. The setting in Italy enticed me to watch it as well as I have been to Venice and wanted to see how they captured it on film.

          PLOT

          Now, to begin with a slight summary of what the film is about, it is set in Europe and was directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. It is a remake of the film Anthony Zimmer which I have never seen so I cannot comment much on this. So, Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) is being followed by the French police, this is how the film begins as she is working with the London Police, Inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany). This Inspector has been after Elise's partner Alexander Pearce for a while who owes hundreds of millions but the complication in this is that he has undergone millions of pounds worth of surgery so that he no longer looks the same.

          Elise is informed by the police to board a train to Venice and to pick out someone who resembles Pearce and make the French police believe this is really him. On the train, she meets Frank Tupela (Johnny Depp) who is just a normal American teacher who is on holiday here they start to get talking and become very close as the plot continues. It is a film which is set as a bit of a police run but also with a hint of comedy thrown in, I quite liked the style of it. The plot does continue on with a bit of a twist which I really liked, I had kind of worked it out myself while watching but it still seemed to pass quick and lots of action was going on through the film.

          SETTING

          Being set in Venice probably made this film more magical than it would have been set anywhere else, it had the glamour of Italy and the architecture which was stunning. It had the canals which made for some exciting action scenes as well as the luxury of the hotels and the buildings visited here, what more could you want. The whole look of the film was very classy and it was rich as well as adding that bit more to the look. I think Venice was the perfect setting for this film and it worked out, not only the setting in Venice but even the scenes on the train at the start worked well here, being rich in this film Elise showed the true beauty of Venice in her rich surroundings.

          CAST

          The cast in this film were very good indeed, Angelina Jolie as Elise, this seemed like the right kind of character for her. To be honest I am not her biggest fan and don't feel this role pushed her acting skills to the limit at all, she fit well but that's not to say she gave a fantastic performance as to me it seemed expected of her a role like this. She didn't make me warm to the character of Elise as she seemed like a cold, rich woman and I don't feel Angelina has the kind of essence that makes you like her on screen. She played the character well but didn't push the role further and her on screen chemistry doesn't really seem believable either.

          As Frank, Johnny Depp did the best with this role that he could, he created a likeable character and I liked him from the moment he lit up the screen. He made it come across that he was a normal American man on holiday and this is what I liked, he didn't try too hard he was down to earth. Johnny Depp is a brilliant actor and he always does the best with what he can. This wasn't my favourite role of his at all though as I do feel he has done more exciting rolls but he can't be Jack Sparrow forever and to show his versatility by playing a normal guy shows that he can take on any role and make it his own and I think he made this film.

          Paul Bettany was great as the Inspector in this film, I like that he challenges himself and always picks completely different roles and with this he really has gone for something different. He was believable as the Inspector and not likeable but it was good to see him play this character, he was convincing in the role, wouldn't expect him to be this part but it worked. He wasn't the most outstanding character in the film but yet again he did with the role the best that he could and that is the best thing about him. All of the cast in this film worked well to make it what it was and Angelina Jolie was probably the let down of this film in terms of acting and performance.

          MY OPINION

          I did really like The Tourist it was an easy film to watch, no complexity but a nice film to look at, and it took you into the glamour of Venice for a few hours. The ending worked well, it did pass quick while watching and there were some good comedy moments also but I didn't feel it was unique and special. The film did provide entertainment for a few hours but I wouldn't watch it again as once I knew what happened that was it for me. The film does have a plot, it isn't the most exciting but it is what it is, some bits are a bit unrealistic in this film but it does work and it wasn't as terrible as I had expected it to be from some ratings.

          The acting was fine in this film but I can't say I would recommend anyone to watch it unless they were a fan of any of the cast members. Johnny Depp can definitely do better in terms of film roles and this didn't seem to me challenging plot. It is quite an easy plod along type of film that doesn't really get you thinking or doesn't have any stand out parts to it. It is a simple film with a pretty setting and a few laughs, good to watch at the weekend if you are bored but not a film you would get excited about. I'd say if you like European set films with a pretty lead actress and good looking actor and a few laughs and a bit of action then this is for you, if you don't like chick flicks or films with no exciting scenes then this isn't for you.

          DVD

          The DVD comes with a few special features it has:

          - Bringing Glamour Back
          - Canal Chats: interviews
          - Traveling the Canals of Venice
          - Action in Venice
          - The Gala
          - Interview with the director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
          - Audio Commentary with the director

          FILM INFORMATION

          This film is rated as a 12A certificate and it has a running time of 107 minutes.

          COST

          If you are interested in buying this film on DVD you can get a great bargain on it, Amazon are selling it for £3.79 with free delivery, very cheap, probably cheaper than renting it on iTunes or something similar.

          The official website for this film is http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/thetourist/.

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            07.08.2012 00:37
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            A poor but pretty film

            Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
            Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany
            DVD Release date: March 22nd 2011
            Rating: 12
            Runtime: 103 minutes

            The Tourist is a thing of beauty. Angelina Jolie looks absolutely stunning in it, as does the beautiful backdrop of Venice, and James Newton Howard's gorgeous replacement score accompanies the scenes fantastically. Unfortunately, the film has little else going for it, and is somewhat of a genre enigma. To describe the plot almost seems completely unnecessary, however...

            Elise Clifton-Ward (Jolie) is being closely watched by Scotland Yard, in hope that the police can track down her known accomplice and ex-lover, Alexander Pearce. The man in question owes £744 million, and Inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany) will go to whatever lengths to catch him. They follow Elise from Paris to Venice, where on the way she is ordered by Alexander to choose a man with similar height and build to him, and accompany him on the train. Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), an American math teacher, is either very lucky or unlucky to be chosen; he is mistaken for Alexander Pearce, a mistake which is quickly rectified by Scotland Yard, but not before an officer informs a known victim/gangster that Alexander has arrived in Venice. Frank, who they believe is Alexander, is hunted across Venice, while Elise, unaware, continues to follow through with Alexander's plan of trying to convince the hostiles that this innocent man is in fact a notorious criminal.

            The film encountered an array of cast & crew shifts before and after the filming of The Tourist. The director changed many a time, as did the cast, with Charlize Theron and Tom Cruise originally set to play the leading roles. Gabriel Yared's score was rejected in post-production, to be replaced by James Newton Howard's magnificent one, which I might add is a fantastic achievement for a last-minute job! 'Dance in F', a diegetic piece from Yared's original score, does remain in the film, however.

            This film is like a jigsaw where none of the pieces seem to fit whatsoever. The plot and plot development is fairly layered but makes sense, albeit muddily, but its execution is jarring. The casting is odd, in a word, with American A-listers Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie being put alongside the likes of Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton amongst others. The film was shot in little over eleven months, and one can tell. The acting is comical for the most part; in fact, a lot of it is comical, and I don't think it's meant to be. The film suffers from genre confusion; it features action sequences, but isn't funny enough to be considered an action-comedy, isn't thrilling enough to be considered an action-thriller, and also features a bizarre one-off violent scene. Angelina Jolie is beautiful and sexy, but by God she acts terribly in The Tourist. Johnny Depp is respectable, while all other actor's credibilities are drowned by the film's nonsensical nature.

            Angelina Jolie admitted that the only reason she agreed to do the film was due to where it would be chiefly filmed: Venice, Italy. Fair enough. Apart from a particular scene with shoddy set-work, it's generally aesthetically stunning. There is little more to say on the matter; from the boat rides on the beautiful rivers, to the bird's eye shots of the Italian city, it's an element of the movie that they inevitable get right - but that's not saying much. James Newton Howard's score, as aforementioned, is palpable and wonderfully apt, fusing soaring orchestral beauty with electronica - he is a master of film scoring, particularly for this light-action genre.

            All of the above said, the film is somewhat enjoyable, although its main reliance is on its aesthetic qualities. I personally wouldn't recommend the film, but its exterior attributes are attractive enough for it to be watchable. It is these qualities, combined with the leading roles of Depp and Jolie that caused it to succeed in the box office. But with poor acting, a muddy plot, a barely-defined genre among countless silly elements, The Tourist is a very dire movie that is only permissible as mindless background content with pretty sounds and pictures.

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              11.02.2012 11:42
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              Not a very special Tourist attraction for me

              There was a fair amount of advertisement and talk of The Tourist when it came out. I wasn't that interested in seeing at the cinema because I wasn't completely convinced how good it would be so I rented it more recently; it met my expectations by not being great, but it was still watchable.

              The Tourist was directed, and in part written, by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. I don't know of anything he's done previously, which is only very little, so this was probably his strongest entry into the directing world.

              We're introduced to Elise (played by Angelina Jolie), who is inconspicuously passed a letter whilst sat outside a Parisian café. Her instructions are made clear that she should take a train to Venice and find herself a decoy. Why? Because both the Scotland Yard police and a Russian mobster posse are hunting for her lover, Alexander Pearce, and they think she knows where he is. The former want him for being a criminal, the latter want him because he stole a mobster's money. Big mistake.

              On the train we meet Frank, a handsome American played by the wonderful Mr Depp. Elise enchants Frank with her womanly ways and before we know it she's suggesting dinner and an invitation to her Venice hotel upon arrival. Despite how 'nice' she may seem, Elise is using Frank as a decoy, hoping those hunting for Pearce will presume Frank is indeed her lover.

              It's a dangerous position for Frank to be in, but the police realise what's going on and that's he's simply a tourist, an innocent guy caught up in something far bigger than he realised. But as he starts to fall for Elise, will he work out he's being used, and will the police be able to keep him out of harms way and safe from the thuggish mob?

              The plot was fairly different and interesting, and I was finding myself eager to know what would happen in the end, which is always a good thing. The cast was strong with Johnny and Angelina heading up the lead roles, adding credibility and a sense of quality to the film. I already like each of them as actors and I found their presence in this film to be enjoyable, and for the main part relatively believable. I'll admit that I found Angelina's role a little irritating at times to the extent that the character didn't feel realistic enough to properly ground the film.

              I liked being able to see different scenes and settings, such as those in Venice. It helped to make the film stand out from the crowd a little and it gave it some diversity, something pretty to look at when the plot or characters weren't particularly interesting or believable.

              The relationship between Frank and Elise was a little bizarre and didn't always feel too natural, but it was the comic element that helped to draw attention away from this. Depp does it well, being sarcastic and witty but in an intelligent way so as not to make anything too slapstick. This helped to give the film the overall feel of it being quite dramatic, edged with comedy and seriousness.

              There were some stunts and events that stood out and added some colour to The Tourist, but nothing was too memorable for a while after watching it; this wasn't a film I'd rave about or recall specific moments from. Well, apart from Depp smoking an electronic cigarette casually in such a way as to make the seemingly strange act quite 'cool' (but smoking's not cool, kids!). It's the way that Depp always seems to do 'cool' that really brings his character to the fore and makes the film enjoyable. If it weren't for him, I don't think the film would have got as much attention or as many people watching it from start to finish.

              Overall, this was a fairly decent watch but it seemed to lack anything special other than the cast. I think too much emphasis was put on Jolie and Depp to the point where believability and atmosphere was somewhat neglected. It was still worth a watch as it was entertaining enough for over an hour, but it's not something I'd rush to watch again.

              Rated Certificate 12, DVD released 2011
              Selling on Amazon for £4.49

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                22.01.2012 20:17
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                Witty and suspenseful

                A pretty decent film, particularly for Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie fans. It combines crime with romance, and makes an interesting film- although not brilliant in my opinion.
                Angelina Jolie's character was a bit cold for me to really get into it, and a don't really enjoy films she's in as she's a very unique actor and i feel that it often stops me from getting emotionally invested in the film.
                However, if you are a fan of her then definitely watch this film !! 
                Johnny Depp was great, fitting into his role with ease : he plays a "normal" man who unwittingly gets involved in Angelina Jolie's plan to avoid being caught.
                It unravels from there, and there is a memorable scene where they have a boat- race getaway on a river through venice.
                The end has a real twist, which if i'm honest, I still don't completely understand how it is possible .... I don't want to give it away ,... I just feel that there should have been a further scene playing flashbacks perhaps , to help the audience understand it better.

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                12.11.2011 12:52
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                Great plot never gets boring!!

                This film follows a plot of action, comedy and suspense when a woman (Angelina Jolie) who is told to find someone the same hight and build as her husband and frame him finds a American tourist (Johnny Depp) on a train that could be used in her plot. They go on the run in Venice after the Russians think that it was the man on the train that stole all the money. After a while of doing the Russians attacks Frank (Johnny depp) realises the plot and that his life might be in danger.

                Following the two characters we get to know more about their past life and they start to fall in love. The acting is brilliant and its a great film if you want to see Johnny Depp in something that isn't purely comedy based.

                The plot twist at the end is very clever and makes the film enjoyable as you do not see it coming.

                This film was £7 in HMV but it is cheaper in places like amazon.

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                24.10.2011 01:14
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                Light Hitchcockian romance thriller

                Plot:

                Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) is being pursued by ambitious British police inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany) across Paris and then into Venice. Elise is the girlfriend of Alexander Pearce, a man who owes £744 million. Pearce is also being pursued by a ruthless gangster for $2.3 billion he stole. The police believe Pearce has had plastic surgery. Clifton-Ward tries to throw them off-course by following instructions Pearce has given her to select a man who resembles him on a train. She selects holidaying maths teacher Frank Tupello (Johnny Depp) and begins a romance. Soon Frank is thrown into a whole heap of trouble as both police and criminal pursue him...

                Review:

                Few films seem to demonstrate the film critic versus public disparity than "The Tourist" and its inspiration, the French film "Anthony Zimmer". The latter was beloved of the critics, but did appallingly at the box office. The former did not exactly light up the box office, but it almost tripled its $100,000 budget, and has been universally loathed by noted critics. Then to confuse maters further it was nominated for three Golden Globes. Is it any wonder that more people are now looking towards sites like Dooyoo and Ciao for a less polarized view? My own response somewhat predictably is that I fall somewhere in the middle of these opinions. However, I am happy to report that my leaning is far closer to the paying public than our learned literary elite.

                Apparently there has been much debate over whether the film is really a comedy or drama with director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck arguing it is neither, but rather "a travel romance with thriller elements". When pushed he conceded it was more comedy than thriller. If that is the case, it's a bad comedy. The film has no laugh out loud moments whatsoever and, at best, evokes little more than bemusement at the hero's ridiculous predicament. "The Tourist" is a milder riff on the Hitchcockian thriller genre. It is essentially a romantic adventure, but set to a backdrop of organized crime, ambitious cops and espionage. It's full of twists and turns, dramas about mistaken identity and clichés about deep cover - and the usual story about being chased by the police and the mob. We have a typically heartless sociopath as the main antagonist in the picture, gangster Reginald Shaw. The overall lightness of the film actually makes his humourless and highly violent scenes seem out of place. He is played by experienced typecast villain actor, Steven Berkoff - an excellent English classically-trained theatre actor when he is not playing heartless sociopathic villains. Paul Bettany's dislikeable ambitious police officer is more in keeping with the film, but his performance is somehow less effective. He is more annoying than anything else. We have ex-James Bond actor, Timothy Dalton in a glorified cameo as the Chief Inspector Jones. He plays the role completely tongue-in-cheek and must soon be counted among the likes Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and, when he still acted, Sean Connery for adding that type of veteran warmth to a picture their presence seems to emanate. These established and proven actors now seem to provide a wink to the camera without having to break the fourth wall.

                A key critique of the picture was the lack of apparent chemistry between Depp and Jolie. I can see their point. They do make an unlikely couple and most of their scenes feel awkward, but I think this is what makes it work. It's not the cinematic pairing of the century, but I could buy into the drama.

                Depp is as good as ever. There's no doubt about it, he is a talented actor as well as a legitimate star and despite camping things up a lot with Burton and Disney over the past few years, he is still selective over his choice of roles and picks well. The viewer really needs to watch all of "The Tourist" is to really agree with this statement. I am not blowing things out of proportion - this isn't a Kevin Spacey/"Usual Suspects" moment, but it's still good. We know the guy can play quirky well, but let's face it, quirky isn't really that difficult. Johnny Depp's greatest acting strength is his ability to convey convincing and emotive vulnerability. I am not talking about puppy dog eyes boyish charm to appeal to the ladies, but a sincere and believable weakness we can all relate to in some form. In this respect he is much like James Dean and Tony Curtis. He adds credulity to most scenes he is involved in, ensuring you are always on his side no matter how foolish, incompetent or cowardly he may seem.

                Despite the wonderful scenery in Paris and especially Venice, "The Tourist" is not a memorable visual spectacle. Aside from a chase across the rooftops and a brief chase on the boats, the location really isn't used to its full potential. I don't mean the action isn't handled well, as it all runs along nicely and with a good steady amount of suspense. The British cops, Russian mobsters, American lead and two European locations does make for a cosmopolitan feel to the picture usually associated with spy thrillers. However, there is little in the way of jaw-dropping set-pieces or stand-out stunts.

                All in all, "The Tourist" is fun light entertainment. The plot has enough surprises to stop matters getting too predictable and has a strong enough cast behind it to help us suspend disbelief.

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                  13.09.2011 22:21
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                  An entertaining movie, Depp is good though im no fan of Jolie

                  - Story -

                  A US high school math teacher by the name of Frank Tupelo is picked out by a secret undercover agent (who may or may not be on the governments side) while on a train ride from France to Venice, Italy. He's egged on by the agent, a very charming lady called Elise, who has been secretly ordered to make him a decoy so that the bad guys will be taken off the real scent and will think that Frank is Elise's partner who owes them alot of money. Frank doesn't realise what he's got himself into and soon due to this mistaken identity he ends up in Venice with a bounty over his head, in mortal danger. Can he survive this holiday? what are Elise's true motives and will the undercover agents manage to find Elise's partner? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.


                  - Thoughts & Opinions -

                  The title says it all - the main memory I have from this movie is that its all about Angelina Jolie, who very much plays the Femme Fatale in her role as one of the two main characters. She doesn't say all that much, instead its all about the body language and facial expressions, though you'd be surprised that she can make many expressions, guessing that she may use facial injections such as botox to help keep her looking youthful. She does seem almost annoyingly perfect in this movie though, so if you don't like her then this might annoy you lol I've seen a few movies which star Jolie in a main role but none where she's portrayed as such a strong femme fatale type character, I think.

                  The story is rather cheesy and predictable but yet its not really about the story, its more a movie you watch to entertain and pass the time really. It has elements of comedy about it, with quite a few somewhat subtle jokes mainly relating to said tourist, the rather clueless American who's made out to be really quite stupid, or more ignorant I suppose - maybe this is why the movie was panned by US critics, it doesn't show US tourists in a good light lol the main mistake he repeatedly makes is speaking a few sentences in Spanish, apparently not realising that it s the wrong language lol. In this movie, Depp appears as a more average, even slightly bedraggled character - he's not exactly Jack Sparrow but then that would be too surreal if he was, wouldn't it? lol im sure Depp fans will still enjoy the movie for his presence in it but Jolie undoubtedly commands more of a screen presence, which is ironic given the name of the movie.

                  Anyway, yes, Mr Tupelo is a rather, dare I say boring and clueless man *at times* (not always but sometimes - he does look somewhat dashing in some scenes later on in the movie going by memory), who is a bit slow to realise quite whats happening. Speaking of that, I found it hard to believe that he just went along with what happened, especially when he's told to follow Elise to join her at the hotel - he never really asks what exactly is going on, why he's being invited to join her at the hotel and given that he clearly doesn't know her, I can only presume that his hinted love of spy novels and his somewhat nonchalant nature tells him to just go with the flow and shrug off the obvious questions that you and I would have if this were to happen to us. In a way this is good for such a movie, in that I suppose it makes it alot more fun to watch, I guess its something that we all might wish would happen, that we go on what could be a bit of a run of the mill holiday and suddenly things take a serious turn and we end up in the middle of some big adventure - I know as a child I used to wish that I could go on some big adventure, have something exciting happen to me, though I can't say I'd like the idea of having to run for my life with a bounty on my head but the movie is certainly exciting enough and I suppose Franks bumbling type nature makes you feel sorry for him moreso than you might do otherwise. Lets face it, if there's no real character connection, an interest in any of the main characters that makes us feel some kind of empathy for them, then whats the point? the movie has failed but I think I did feel sorry for him in parts and as the movie continued and the twists and turned panned out, it certainly kept me entertained.

                  The movie is almost worth seeing just for the aerial photography, with some pretty great shots of Venice, it was quite impressive seeing it on the big screen. The performances are all decent enough, Depp playing Frank Tupelo and Paul Bettany who portrays Scotland Yard inspector John Acheson (who is also somewhat of a bumbling character in a way lol) giving particularly good performances, as far as I'm concerned, though others may disagree but their characters are the two that come to mind first. Its quite amusing to see the reaction of the undercover agents to whats happening - not everything goes to plan, it would be safe to say! its also true that there's a twist at the end of the movie, although if you take the film too seriously then the ending might leave you feeling somewhat robbed but then the movie is just a bit of fun really - its really not one to be over analysed or thought through in too much detail.

                  The movie is a good length at about an hour and 40 minutes and going back to the ending, you don't realise that its approached until the credits start to roll really as it looks like the story has taken a new twist and that a new scene is about to start any second but instead the credits roll, so I was taken by surprise that the film had actually ended when it did. I didn't feel overly bored or fed up of the movie while it was on as it was quite amusing with some mystery and action/thriller segments that kept me distracted and wanting to watch to see what the eventual outcome was.


                  - Would I Recommend It? -

                  This movie is a bit of a mish mash of a few genres and it has its flaws, yet its not really awful either, it definitely passes the time and there are one or two particularly memorable performances, I feel. I don't think I'd specifically recommend this as its not a movie I'd say is particularly great as a mystery thriller or as an action comedy, though it definitely has elements of all of those genres. Its worth renting but otherwise, its not a big loss if you don't catch it really - its not a really awful movie but its not truly great either.

                  Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks, as ever, for any and all r/r/c's. This review was originally posted on Ciao UK under the same username.

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                    30.08.2011 11:28
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                    Venice, Johnny Depp, Boat chases and a suprise twist what more could you want.

                    A very good film that me and mum watched over and over again. We firstly had borrowed it of a friend with ever intention of watching it once and giving it back with no real thought about it after we had watched it. Suprised to say we have just brought a copy for ourselves with ever intention of watching it many times in the future.

                    Firstly the acting was very good from all parts. It was nice to see Johhny Depp go back to a role similar to his character in sleepy hollow. A nice change from the Jack Sparrow like charcters as he plays a bumbling clueles tourist well. Also Jolie was good acting as always but has stuck to her comfort zone similar to that of her characters in Wanted and Mr and Mrs Smith. Also contained some very good supporting actors such as a few of the policeman from Scotland yard and also a certain suspect that pops up more than once.

                    The setting of the film gives an atmosphere that would not be the same set anywhere else. The chase scene that is i boats down the canals would not be the same if it were on rollerblades in Australia (first thing that popped in my head honestly).

                    The main success of the movie is the complete twist at the end. It is one I never saw coming although I like to not try to hard to work out the mysteries in films. I am sure somebody who really wanted to know the twist might have picked up on the subtle hints throughtout the film but I think most will have a pleasent surpise at the end.

                    A very good film overall, excitment will stop any boredom whilst watching it and a must for any body who likes Italy.

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                    05.08.2011 13:30
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                    Romance between two strangers; however, the woman is still love with someone from the past..

                    Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, in the same movie? Sounds like a movie well worth watching. Despite the fact that this movie was met with mostly negative reviews, I still enjoyed it. Ok, so it wasn't as good as I expected but it wasn't as bad as they say it is either. It's probably the plot that lets it down, not the acting, as it is drawn out for the entire movie with the climax reached right at the very end. However, its the suspense that keeps you watching, you need to know who Pearce is. This is one of those movies that keeps an essential character hidden throughout the entire movie, with them only sending letters and messages to Frank (Depp) and Elise (Jolie), which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it makes you eager and hungry to find out who this mystery man is.

                    I think you'd have to watch closely in order to fully understand this movie, and perhaps if you watch closely enough you'll be able to suss out the ending, I; however, was not observant enough and so it came as a very big shock to me at the end. I won't spoil it by telling you what the suprise is, but I'll tell you this: The answer is right in front of you. It is so obvious, and if you don't figure it out before the end, you'll probably kick yourself! What annoyed me was that I felt torn between Pearce and Frank, because both seemed to be deeply in love with Elise, and vice versa. Oh, the choices. Thankfully, this was all sorted out at the end and I was fairly happy with the result.
                    Now thinking about it, I'm not entirely sure what the point of this movie is. It goes on a very long a drawn out route to find out who Pearce is and perhaps that is why it received such bad reviews. There isn't a lot of substance to it, but for some reason, I still enjoyed it. I realise this is a very confusing review, but I'm very on the fence about this movie. As I sit here I'm wondering whether the shocking finale is worth sitting the through the rest of the movie for and I think I'm going to have to say: yes. It's a unique movie, I don't think there have been any movies like this before and it is fairly entertaining. I am going to recommend this to you, because I want to see your reactions to the ending and whether or not you saw it coming, because that really is the climax of the movie and all there is to it.

                    Available on DVD from amazon.co.uk for £9.93

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                    29.06.2011 15:13
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                    Well worth a watch, but please don't aim for a copy-cat holiday!

                    It would be faitr to say that Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp) is currently having the holiday from hell. Upon the train from the Gare-de-Lyon to Venice, he is approached by the mysterious Elise (Angelina Jolie), and, needless to say, is of the belief his luck may possibly start to change for the better.

                    Mourning the death of his wife, 3 years previous, Frank has taken a trip to Venice, and a break from his career as a maths lecturer, in Wisconsin. However, after being invited to spend the night in Elise's luxury hotel room, Frank finds himself in a near fatal case of mistaken identity.

                    See, Elsie has deliberately approached Frank, under the instruction of her swindling lover, Alexander Pearce. Pearce has crossed paths with a tantrum throwing gangster, Mr Shaw, rumoured to have killed not only his ex-wife's previous lovers, but her too. So yeah, you wouldn't want to get on his bad side. Now, in a vain attempt to escape, after cheating the toddler like, gun-wielding, bad guy, as well as a rather hefty tax evasion, Pearce instructs the stunning Elise to pick out a man on a train who is of his height and physique. Poor Frank just thought his luck was in. Instead, he finds himself with a bounty on his head, shot at, and arrested...

                    The Tourist is shot against the beautiful background of Venice, with a luxurious wardrobe, The Tourist is certainly stunning. Yet it holds an element of "I've seen this all before," particularly with scenes and storylines reminiscent of North By North-West (Alfred Hitchcock, 1968), with possibly as many twists and turns as the Hitchcock film itself. The cast is beyond phenonemal, yet it appears somewhat odd to see Depp in a less quirky role than usual. This doesn't, by any means, equate to a less likeable role than his more famous, fairly odd, alter egos, Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands or even 2010's Mad Hatter. Instead, his charms and chivilarous nature as Frank, who appears to quickly fall for Elise, have the audienced rooting for him from the start. Elise, although seemingly manipulative, is still charming, elegant and every part the female protagonist of the film. Jolie plays Elise in a slightly provocative manner, reminiscent of the typical femme fatales of the 1940's film noir period, with an enviable and elegant wardrobe, flushed with whites, creams and gold, which simultaneously contrast with and compliment Depp's dark suits, yet clash completely with his white and blue pyjamas... Sorry, ladies, Frank Tupelo doesn't sleep in the nude...

                    The plot, although a bit far fetched in places, the revelation of which would result in some pretty big spoilers, is not only enjoyable, but believable enough that you can forgive some of the suspensions of reality. Or maybe all of them... In fact, after seeing Depp in the white tuxedo, at the films climax, hell, I could forgive the film-makers anything!

                    It came as a slight shock to learn that the film took around $100m to make, none of which seems to have been placed on eye catching stunts. But then, if you consider the location, which includes the luxurious Hotel Daniele, and Jolie's stunning wardrobe, plus the boats used in many of the shots, the budget doesn't seem that far fetched after all.

                    The climax of the film is slightly predictable; it took me around 15 minutes to work out the goose chase that director Florian Henkel Von Donnersmack is trying to lead the audience on, but then I suspect I may have seen one too many of these films. Although the location is stunning, none of the shots really take your breath away, or have you on the edge of the seat, and to be honest, as much as I loved the film, the climax felt so anti-climatic that it could have been written by the master of the anti-climatic tale, James Joyce.

                    The film is worth a watch, but PLEASE don't expect your breath to be taken away.

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                      22.05.2011 13:32

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                      Slighty entertaining however not enough to recomend it.

                      I have to say this film is rather average, at times the directing looks a little amateur and there appears to be no on set chemistry. The two main actors are obviously the main draw and they do play their roles as individuals rather well, however the plot and storyline is all too slow and obvious.

                      The film is based on the police tracking the ex girlfriend of a fugitive that has stole excessive sums of money from a known gangster, also he failed to pay his taxes to the sum of 744 million....While tracking the rather stunning Elise (Angelina Jolie) it becomes obvious that she has been contacted by Alexander Pearce (the fugitive) and the police and gangster end up playing a wild goose chase around Venice in the hope of finding Alexander Pearce. Throw into this that an apparent "Tourist" that is also caught up in this with the aim of throwing the police of the scent by believing he is Alexander Pearce. There are some ok scenes and twist along the way with this goose chase however it bears of course far too many times with additional plots that seem completely unnecessary. As it nears conclusion the likely ending becomes all to obvious and you are left hoping that there is one final twist to come....

                      The film is set in Venice and the scenery is amazing with some excellent boat chases; however that is one of the few positives the film has. All in all I would say the film is watchable but not very enjoyable.

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                      13.03.2011 16:58
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                      A mysterious romance - makes a change to rom coms!

                      The Tourist is an American romantic drama movie starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. The movie was released in the United Kingdom in 2010. The movie is a 12 which means that it must not be viewed by persons under the age of twelve. The running time of the movie is just over one hour and a half. The DVD will be released in the United Kingdom on April 25th 2011.

                      The plot: Frank is an American tourist who is on a trip to Europe to mend his broken heart. Whilst away, he meets Elise, who he has a bit of a 'thing' with. She however is using him to try and get rid of a criminal who she had an affair with. But what has Frank got to do with this criminal? What will happen? Watch The Tourist to find out!

                      Films like these are not usually my type of films; I tend to stick to the rom-com genre, and so I had no idea what to expect with this movie, so anything could have happened.It turns out that, despite the fact that this movie was not usually my kind of movie, I did enjoy this movie, which made a change.

                      I loved Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in The Pirates of The Caribean movies (in fact, those were the movies that introduced me to him). So, I couldn't imagine him as anything but the pirate character. Seeing him as a teacher in this film was really funny, as he just does not seem like a teacher at all, and so I didn't find his character
                      believeable. I did think that Angelina Jolie played her part really well; great accent!

                      I thought that the plot was interesting, the kind which keeps you on the edge of your seat. I particulalrly liked the unexpected twist in the story.

                      One thing which I really liked about this movie was the great scenery. Venice looks like a really nice place. The scenes in this movie really make you want to go there.

                      I am used to the predictable endings of romantic comedy movies, and so I thought that I knew what the ending of this movie would be. Although, it turns out that I was pleasantly suprised, and I had no idea that what happened at the end would happen at the end! So if you like movies which are not predictable, try this.

                      Whilst this is not my favourite genre, I did enjoy this movie, and so would recommend it.

                      Thanks for reading!
                      March 13th 2011
                      xd-o-n-z-x (also posted under xdonzx on ciao)

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                      16.02.2011 09:41
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                      A shallow, empty effort from actors and a director who have shown to be capable of a whole lot more

                      Films with absurd, preposterous plots need to keep the audience interested by at least making things sassy, snappy and action-packed. The script needs sly, witty humour at every corner, action scenes need to dazzle the screen and the actors involved in the film need to click, and be charismatic enough to make us care. "The Tourist" is a film that ticks none of these boxes, which is why even with the two biggest names in the film industry as its leads (Johnny Depp!!! Angelina Jolie!!!), it turns into a deadly boring, slow, unappealing film that tries to juggle sex, guns, money and betrayals to no successful outcome.

                      Jolie is Elise Ward, a beautiful woman with that classic femme fatale grin that lets you know instantly that she's hiding something. What has she done? It's unclear at this point but it appears she is under surveillance from the British government. The surveillance involves the most conspicuous van following Ms. Ward around in the French capital, through the narrow streets, only a few metres behind her. Only an idiot wouldn't notice such a sloppy bit of work. But Elise doesn't seem to care. She heads to a café for her usual breakfast where she indirectly receives a mysterious letter from Alexander Pearce. Her mission is to board a train to Venice, find a man similar to Pearce's build, and to fool the authorities into believing that the innocent man is in fact Pearce. Oh, and Pearce seems to be her lover.

                      Silly enough for you? It gets a lot more free-spirited which again, would have been fine if there were enough entertaining material to back all of it up. On the train Elise has a good look at the men around her. She chooses Frank (Depp), an American maths teacher. Here it helps that Elise is darn good-looking. Frank falls for her instantly and it only takes seconds before he is doing everything she asks him to. Soon they're travelling together, booking into the same hotel room, having meals etc. So she succeeds in her mission. People think Frank is Alexander Pearce. A British agent chasing after Pearce doesn't quite fall for this little trick but he's the least of Elise's problems. It turns out Pearce stole quite a large sum from a dangerous gangster. Over 2 billion pounds to be more exact (it's never explained to us just how someone manages to run off with that kind of money). The boss is obviously angry and has a lot of hired Russian men (whenever there's hired muscle, they're always Russian for some reason) with guns at his disposal. And of course he gathers enough evidence to be convinced that Frank is the man he wants. Frank's life spirals out of control as grumpy-looking agents start chasing him all over the beautiful city for something he never did.

                      With two appealing leads, great location, plot points echoing those of "North by Northwest," it all sounds very exciting. But Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has seemingly achieved the impossible. He found the most useless way of spending 100 million dollars. There is absolutely nothing fun about this supposed thriller. There are two action scenes, both as pathetic and effortless as one another. One sees Depp running on rooftops in his pyjamas. Well, he doesn't run, he jogs. He is chased by men with guns. There is no sense of urgency though, it's slow, lifeless and not in the least bit inventive. It's so useless at creating any sense of pace that sometimes you forget that Depp is actually running for his life. The boat chase is not much better. Through the narrow streams of Venice, boats could have crashed, or at least bumped into something. But no, the boats gently glide along at a morbid pace with both Jolie and Depp looking surprisingly relaxed. Gunshots are fired but the result...wait for it...is a few broken windows. Two boats are tied together. So? When the camera moves so slowly, and when the sequence itself is so unimaginative, it doesn't matter how many boats are involved. It's pure laziness.

                      Whenever Jolie walks by a crowd of men, they all stop, admire her beauty and can't take their eyes off her. Jolie has rarely looked better in a film - so well-dressed, well-accessorised - but it appears that is all she does in this film. Look fantastic. She's an excellent actress in the right roles, but the only acting skill she gets to show is her English accent, which is actually quite good. Other than that, she stands around in "ravishing" dresses, giving us mysterious stares and ambiguous looks that try to add something juicy into the otherwise dry film. Depp is just the brainless idiot with puppy-dog eyes following Jolie with his tongue hanging out. It's an unclear role and even Depp looks confused as to what the heck he's doing, a mutual feeling that is also shared by the audience.

                      There is no real spark between the two and the drab script has a lot of responsibility to take. There isn't a single exchange between our two good-looking characters that triggers a laugh, smile or any sense of attraction. Elise asks for his name. He says Frank. She hits back with "that's a terrible name." Was this supposed to be the cornerstone of playful banter? It's not sexy, it's not even remotely funny, and as the film goes on it would be safe to say that the writers simply gave up on trying to give these actors something interesting to share. The pace refuses to move along, as there are awkward pauses, silences, and none of them for good reasons.

                      And what's up with the ridiculous score? The composer in charge of the soundtrack (James Newton Howard) must have thought that he was providing music for a fairytale romance. A lot of it sounds too light and immature, not cheeky or stylish enough. Aside from not suiting its lavish surroundings, the magnificent stars seem completely separate from the detached score. Even in the "action sequences" the music doesn't even think of coming up with anything remotely exciting, and does nothing to even slightly improve the already struggling action element of the film.

                      The big twist that attempts to redeem what little dignity left in the film also falls flat as there have been far too many hints and obvious red herrings that make the audience look elsewhere for answers. This is never good since nine times out of ten, the audience will figure out the big mystery long before the film decides to solve it. Was this the most disappointing film of 2010? Most likely. There have been lots of awful films as always, but none came with the same level of expectation "The Tourist" did. Hopefully an ignorable blip on both Jolie and Depp's usually above-average film choices. And as for von Donnersmarck, perhaps he over-extended himself with an alarmingly high budget and didn't really know how to cope with all the Hollywood style. Go back to the place that allowed you to make your outstanding "The Lives of Others." We need more films like that; and you'll be more respected because of it.

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