The Tourist-attachment0

The Tourist

Movie Information

In Brief: It has a critically acclaimed director (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck), two big stars (Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie), glamorous locations — and yet almost nothing about The Tourist works. Inert and indifferent, The Tourist squanders an amazing amount of talent on a lame story that nobody seems to care about. Depp and Jolie have close to zero chemistry. This is a film in which the normally bland Timothy Dalton walks in at the last minute and effortlessly steals the movie from its powerhouse cast.
Genre: Would-be Romantic Thriller
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell
Rated: PG-13

I have no earthly clue what would prompt anyone to revisit this misbegotten mismatch of movie stars, but assuming someone is consumed with such an urge, here’s the chance to indulge it. From the original review:

It looked suspicious when Columbia managed to pull off an almost complete review blackout until opening day for Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s The Tourist. When the generally blistering reviews did appear, it seemed to be a case of “suspicions confirmed.” Is it really that bad? No, instead it’s that indifferent, which is somehow more distressing, especially considering the talent involved. Bad would at least indicate the possibility of some kind of failed effort. The Tourist shows little sign of any sort of effort at all.

“Conceptually, The Tourist ought to have worked. Having Johnny Depp play Frank Tupelo, an American tourist on a train to Venice who becomes involved with mysterious femme fatale Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie), seems like a natural. So do most of the story’s embellishments. Unbeknownst to Frank, Elise has been instructed to become involved with someone like him by her on-the-run boyfriend, the elusive Alexander Pierce (played by we’re never sure who — for reasons that become obvious). The idea being that Frank, who is roughly Pierce’s size and build, will throw off the British agents who are on Pierce’s trail. However, the British agents who are in pursuit of Pierce for back taxes on the several billion pounds he pinched from gangster Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff) are but a minor annoyance compared to Shaw himself. He — not surprisingly — wants more than money. Now all that has the makings of a good Hitchcockian romantic thriller. At the very least, it ought to play out like a slick imitation of a Stanley Donen film, like Charade (1963). The sad fact is that it’s not in the same universe.

Full review here.

The Hendersonville Film Society will show The Tourist on Sunday, Aug. 18, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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One thought on “The Tourist

  1. Jeremy Dylan

    “Everything this year was three-dimensional, except the characters in The Tourist. I feel bad about that joke. I’m jumping on the bandwagon, because I haven’t even seen that movie. Who has?” – Ricky Gervais

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