film Review

The Tourist poses thrills and spills atop lavish Venetian backdrops with the help of slick lead duo Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

Whilst the mere thought of Tourism usually conjures images of backpackers and trigger happy snappers, such figures are nowhere to be seen in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s (we’re hoping he’s got a catchier nickname) The Tourist, a mystery-filled adventure that sometimes sips too much of its stylish façade, occasionally forgetting to apply meat to its boy meets girl scenario. More specifically boy (Depp) meets an alluringly mysterious girl (Jolie) on a train to Italy. Depp soon finds himself embroiled in a caper reminiscent of Bond’s greatest exploits. With Jolie’s Elise making every effort to evade the police’s attempts to thwart her and her partner, Depp’s Frank is left in the crossfire. When their lives happen upon each other again and again we’re left wondering; is it simply fate pulling them together or something more?

Starring two of cinema’s biggest names, chemistry surprisingly only appears intermittently throughout The Tourist. The usually masterful Johnny Depp seems to sometimes bumble through the barrage of spy/thriller clichés as Frank, the unsuspecting tourist in question. Despite this he manages to be hugely likeable nonetheless. The smug swagger adopted by Jolie’s head-turning Elise grates after a while and her knowing and overly forward demeanour might estrange her from viewers. Amidst trying to work out whether she’s a goodie or a baddie you might find yourself realising you don’t really care.

The convenient plot devices provided by the screenwriters, of which there were four, namely the ease with which Paul Bettany pieces together a burnt letter, manage to reduce the film’s credibility whilst it’s attempts at providing an enthralling story of mistaken identities and espionage sometimes get drowned out by its outstanding visuals.

That’s not to say The Tourist is necessarily a bad film. Its ambition and dreams of grandeur are obvious, only being let down by there perhaps being too much substance, too much style, for a real story to take place. This leaves us with a film that is what it is; a stylish thriller. Some viewers may find the ending rather predictable but the well-groomed journey toward the final twist neatly makes up for the film’s flaws.

Encompassing beautiful shots of Venice as well as incorporating some well choreographed action scenes, The Tourist is sure to please viewers who like their films filled with glorious landscapes even if at the cost of a gripping story.

Best bit: The (slightly predictable) ending.
Watch this if you liked: Salt.

Jolie wears twelve different outfits in the movie.

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