ReviewWriter: Anne JamaludinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Salt","Taking Lives","Secret Window"
"The Tourist" is a remake of a French film entitled "Anthony Zimmer", which was critically received but a downer with the box office figures. However, assembling a group of award-nominee (and some winning) director, producers, screenwriters and two of the most famous names in Hollywood as the leads do not necessarily guarantee a better output either way.
The movie starts at a rather slow pace when Elise (Jolie) is shown to be trailed and tapped by Scotland Yard and Interpol for being a key contact in tracking down and capturing Elise's lover, Alexander Pearce who is responsible for an approximately US$8 million illegal assets through money-laundering activities in 14 countries. Receiving a secret message from Pearce, Elise goes on to find an innocent man with her lover's build and height onboard a train to Venice in order to distract the pursuers led by Inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany). A Math teacher from Wisconsin named Frank Tupelo (Depp) was the man Elise had chosen as part of the plan to prevent Pearce's arrest. Smitten by the mysterious and attractive Elise, the gullible Frank who smokes an electronic cigarette unknowingly 'takes over' Pearce's identity, causing him to be trapped between two sides who want the original man and his illegal assets - either dead or alive.
For a thriller genre, "The Tourist" certainly lacks the thrills as promised and suffice to say that all the entertaining scenes are already shown in the trailer. It seems that director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck ("The Lives Of Others") was not able to repeat his magic touch in the 2007 Oscar winner since the movie lost its appeal and direction towards the middle. If it wasn't for Depp's natural charm and the beautiful sceneries, the movie would not even be beyond tolerable. It has an undeniably expected plot (it is indeed a remake after all) with no significant climax and continues on at the same pace until the very end.
To make it more unsettling, the chemistry between the two supposedly sexy stars makes the audience shudder instead of sizzle, where one could not help but feel it's like watching two siblings getting it on rather than two strangers pursuing potential romance with each other.
Even the breathtaking setting of gondola city, Venice could not make the movie trip a savoury ride. The story is not without a twist or two, but even so it fails to re-capture the already lost attention inside the cinema. Surprisingly, the movie is nominated at the upcoming 68th Golden Globe Awards for Best Musical or Comedy category when "The Tourist" is supposed to be a thriller. Depp and Jolie together could not pack a memorable, let alone decent punch at the U.S. box office.
Simply said, "The Tourist" will only be served as a lukewarm holiday flick just for fans who miss Depp while waiting for "Pirates" to release and fans who wants to see more of Jolie after "Salt" but a gentle reminder though, Jolie does not have enough action scenes of her own in this one. While Depp on the other hand, looks so much better wielding cutlasses than an electronic cigarette. What a bummer.Cinema Online, 22 December 2010