Johnny Depp is really quite the actor – and in “the Tourist” he doesn’t even rely of wacky costumes, strange accents, or Tim Burton. Seriously, I was trying to remember a film of his before the Burton-era and the only one that came to mind was “the Ninth Gate” (I LOVE that movie!). He’s just a likeable actor doing what he loves to do, but in “the Tourist”, Depp is playing a high school math teacher caught up in a game of mistaken identity.
Depp plays his character with a quirky innocence, but also somebody that has been burned out by life. So – like many others of his ilk – he has turned to Europe for answers, or at least a vacation. It is in Venice that he makes the acquaintance of Angelina Jolie’s character on a train. What we know of her character is that she was romantically involved with this thief who stole billions and she has not seen him in years. She is being watched by Interpol daily, as they hope the thief will get back in touch with her. The thief dies indeed contact her. He sends her a note and instructs her to go choose somebody on a train that looks like him and convince Interpol that it is in fact him.
Here’s what I have to say about Jolie: sweet Mother of Mercy, she is turning into a caricature of herself! She’s supposed to be this model-like beauty. Really? The last time she looked really good was as Laura Croft in “Tomb Raider”. Seriously! Her arms are like twigs with scary musculature in her shoulders, her forehead looks plastic and her lips look like a fish any more. Angie, what have you done to yourself? Regardless of her beauty issues, there’s the fact that the casting is all kinds of wrong. Jolie is not a model, doesn’t look like a model, and just didn’t have the exotic European flair for the fashions she was wearing in this film. Worse still, the character called for someone with this mesmerizing sort of charisma that would draw you in. Jolie did not have it in this film and it became clear to me that this hindered the entire movie. Marion Cotillard would have been a better choice perhaps. No matter though, because the major problem in “The Tourist” was the lack of chemistry between Depp and Jolie. There was zero in the film when there should have been TONS.
Over all, the film lacks a very compelling story. It is predictable and kind of lazy in its pacing. The “twist” in the tale is not surprising and seems almost an after-thought. The plot gets muddled along the way with the thief “repaying his debt”. I don’t care for films that try to sucker you into believing the film will end in a stereotypical ending only to supposedly trick you into another. I saw the end long before it arrived, both the sucker-ending and the “surprise” ending. Even worse was the part where the Interpol agent that has hinted the thief for years suddenly “figures it out” at the VERY end. It is SO cliché.
This one you can pass right over. It lacks any action, sharp dialogue, chemistry between the leads, and compelling story. Still, Depp is a fine actor and he shows it here. This is not enough to save “the Tourist” though.
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE