Movie #82 The Tourist
(2010, US, d. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)
There’s a lot I can say about The Tourist, the first being: Don’t see this movie in theaters. Just rent it. The second: It’s strange expecting a ton of chemistry between actors, especially when those actors are Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, and seeing none of that play on-screen. Seriously, I don’t think it’s the actors that didn’t have chemistry but the characters they were playing that didn’t. Tonally, I didn’t think the film had a grasp of itself. Was it trying to be an action rom-com? Or an artsy romantic thriller? A ridiculous spy film? It was all over the place. Angelina Jolie plays the same role we’ve seen her play so many times (seductive spy) and though it’s a unique role for Depp I just don’t think the movie was that well-written in the first place. It’s based off the critically well-received French film Anthony Zimmer and is directed by the guy whose last film was the incredible The Lives of Others, so it’s hard for me to understand what von Donnersmarck was thinking when he signed on this project – his first in 4 years. While the locations and two leads are great to look at, the plot was just so confusing and some of the supporting characters’ motivations were so random and inexplicable, you could have been laughing by the end. But I agree with Roger Ebert on this one. I can accept that the plot is absurd – it’s an action rom-com for crying out loud. But if there isn’t enough action to fill that gap, “then the acting and dialogue need a little style and grace and kidding around” and there just wasn’t enough of that – or any of that, really. I’d say just stick with the Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz vehicle Knight and Day. This movie’s almost the exact same with a gender reversal and a different locale. Ironically, Cruise was originally attached to play Depp’s role. I hope it was intentional, but one thing I really liked was the homage to Roger Corman’s The Secret Invasion. Depp’s pajama costume is identical to the ones the prisoners wear in the film’s Italian setting. The Venice rooftop scene was screaming this film’s name…I think.