The Tourist (3/10)
by Tony Medley
Run Time 103 minutes.
OK for children.
Who woulda thought that you
could concoct a recipe including heartthrobs Johnny Depp and Angelina
Jolie, supporting actors like Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, and Rufus
Sewell, all directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmark (The Lives of
Others, which won the 2007 Oscar® for best foreign language film)
and come up with such a plodding turkey as this?
Maybe it was predictable after
all since Donnersmark wasn’t the first choice as director, or the
second. He was the third director on the film, and then he walked, too.
When Jolie became affiliated with the film, Donnersmark returned. Depp
was third choice for the male lead, after Tom Cruise and Sam Worthington
both of whom left due to “creative differences.”
After sitting through the
film, Cruise and Worthington and all the other directors knew what they
were doing. The lack of chemistry between Depp and Jolie is stunning,
since their romance is at the core of the film. Shouldn’t superstars be
able to create chemistry where none exists off-screen? There isn’t one
iota of romantic connection between the two.
One problem with the film
might be that all the producers (eight, count them, eight, get credit)
couldn’t decide on a screenwriter, so they apparently tried just about
everybody in Hollywood but me, only three or four of whom get credit,
which is good fortune for everyone else.
The plot is that Jolie picks
up Depp on the train to confuse people trying to find her real
boyfriend. She takes him to Venice, Italy, where lots of bad guys are
out to get poor Johnny. There are some twists and turns, but for a
thriller this is incredibly slow. It failed the watch test in the first
half hour. Donnersmark, for all the quality of his excellent Lives of
Others doesn’t seem to be cut out for the thriller genre if this is
One of the locations is the
Danieli hotel in Venice. I’ve stayed there. It didn’t look anything like
this when I stayed there. Maybe it’s a different Danieli. I’m sure it
was the right Venice.
Jolie has shown herself to be
a better actress than she shows here. She basically sleepwalks through
the role, which is more than I can say for Depp. Neither superstar shows
any emotion other than being alive.
The only positive about this
film is the travelogue-like cinematography by John Seale. The views of
Venice and the locations are gorgeous. There is one good line in the
movie. Unfortunately, it is the last one uttered, hardly worth waiting