Sunday 12 December 2010

Review: The Tourist

Year: 2010
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Screenplay: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp

Synopsis is here.

As with many films these days; The Tourist is of course a remake, but as most people haven't even heard of the original film, it manages to get away with all that nasty outrage that a Let me in gets. I find this to be a little unfortunate as this film with it's popular stars and gloss will get less of a drubbing than some of it's more known retreads. I guess it's because I wish for a just world in where if someone is going to bitch at America for it's lack of ideas, I hope they do the research on all the films going and rightly lambaste all the movies and not just the ones they know about and like. They should also remember it goes both ways, and they should really check out some Turkish features. Quite simply, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

Shame I found The Tourist to be a bore.

Despite a wealth of writing, acting and directing* talent, much like an adolescent relationship making love for the second time; the whole situation leaves you frustrated and strangely unsatisfied. That's not the best visual metaphor I've used for describing a movie, however if what I said made you crack even the slightest grin then you had more fun then, than I did in the entirety of this movie. It's not for lack of trying as it's clear that Angelina Jolie is using all her feminine charms to give the film some kind of allure, while Johnny Depp does that lower end Depp act he does when he's not bringing out his best work and together it should work.

However, it's hard for them as they are fighting a pointless story. It's bad enough that the direction isn't strong enough to distract me from the naff plot points and the clear Deus Ex Machina moments (Poor Timothy Dalton), but the simple fact that the reasons behind the films whole narrative are so weak makes the whole thing an incredible waste of time. I found myself asking, is that really why we're going round the houses?  It almost makes the shenanigans in Knight and Day seem straightforward and level-headed.

Can the chemistry between main performers take my mind off all of this? Can it fuck. You don't believe in their relationship for one second, mostly because Depp is hilariously miscast. Depp could take many peoples girlfriends away with a wink, so you'd think the film would do it's best to make him the schlub that they wish us to believe. It seems the reaction to that thought is? Why bother? This is a film that just wants two good looking people in exotic places on screen, who needs chemistry to give the make shift story at least feel like it had a chance?

If there is any good points about then film, I will say that the speedboat set piece does what it can to give the illusion of fun and some of the dialogue exchanges aren't bad for what they are. But really, is that all I can take from this movie? Unfortunately yes.

This is for purists only. Fans of the leads who can talk at length about how great Secret Window is, or quote you the entire script of Life or something like it. To others, they may find it more substantial to rewatch the Bourne trilogy again.