Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Tourist

Surely you can't go wrong with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp?

Jolie, the searing sex siren and ultimate leading lady of the modern era, alongside the preposterously and irritatingly handsome Depp, the best actor of his generation. So how is that The Tourist is so underwhelming?

Well there's the plot, for a start. Jolie is the classic mystery lady, looking astonishing at all times despite the fact that she is being watched at every turn by Scotland Yard and some very bad, bad guys. It turns out she's the lover of a man who once stole an unimaginable amount of money from both. Following his instructions (by letter) Jolie's Elise Clifton-Ward boards a train to Venice, picks up Depp's Frank Tupelo (a teacher of "math" from Wisconsin), and so begins what should have been a comic farce containing chases, slapstick, sharp dialogue and all around sizzling sexiness.

Yet there is precious little of any of that. Jolie goes all out for the Hepburn-esque movie icon look and, while she is not far short of pulling it off, she seems to forget that her character is in the midst of 'a situation'. Meanwhile Depp's character lacks humour or charm, and instead spends the film in a state of awe and confusion. While few actors can pull off mild confusion as well as Depp, we have seen it all before from him. Isn't it time that this most versatile of actors gave the Jack Sparrow thing a rest? Maybe you think that if it ain't broke and all that.........but I expected a little more.

The baddies are, as alluded to, just that. Lead gangster is Steven Berkoff, a man so bored with his lot that he cannot even summon the acting prowess to unsettle his audience at the point when he promises to re-arrange Jolie's facial features. I'm paraphrasing but he tells her life would not be so kind to an ugly woman, but he also should remember that this film is bad enough without it's redeeming feature being carved into little pieces for the sake of a wedge of stolen cash.

So what's to like about The Tourist? Well, the scene in which Depp is pursued across a Venice hotel roof-top in his pyjamas is half-way amusing, while Rufus Sewell's ubiquitiousness puts one in mind of Waldo from the 'Where's Wally' book series. Only without the stripes. Regardless, you know he's important because he keeps turning up. The film has a few comic moments to enjoy, but it's not certain that they are intentional and you leave the cinema feeling that they could have done so much more with it.

Overall this is not one to recommend unless you are a fervent Jolie or Depp devotee. If the very presence of either on screen is enough to entertain you for two hours then don't let me stop you. Otherwise, you might want to give this one the slip.

1 comment:

Sudohnim said...

Yea Mr T reckoned it would be sh!te so we're giving it a miss until it comes on tele and maybe even not then ...