The Tourist

The Tourist - movie screenshot

The Tourist (2010)
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck  Starring: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell

Certificate: 12A  Running Time: 102 Minutes

Tagline: “It all started when he met a woman.”

Angelina Jolie is hot. There, I said it. You probably weren’t aware of that until I just mentioned it but it’s actually true. You’re lucky I was considerate enough to enlighten you too as it’s this hotness which seemingly forms the basis for The Tourist, which, incidentally, is also a remake of French film, Anthony Zimmer. And therein we already have a problem. To say Hollywood has a patchy history as far as remaking films is concerned would be putting it mildly, but French films seem to suffer this fate even more than most (witness the horror of the ‘Taxi’ remake for proof of this). Combine this with the alarming amount of flip-flopping around the goodness-knows how many directors and stars did, joining the project then leaving soon afterwards, and it sounds like The Tourist was a disaster waiting to happen. With the likes of Jolie and Depp attached now though, it can’t be that bad surely?

The Tourist - movie screenshot

As you might expect, given its origins, there’s certainly an intriguing premise here. Apparently a master criminal, Alexander Pierce, is on the run after having stolen $2 billion from a British gangster. Scotland Yard is eager to catch him as they want a sizable chunk of his swag as tax and have charged Inspector John Acheson (Bettany) with catching him. In his crosshairs at the start of the film is Pierce’s (ex?) girlfriend, Elise (Jolie). Hoping that he eventually makes contact with her, they watch her like a hawk as she goes about her daily routine in Paris, and it seems they’ve got their break when she receives a letter, apparently from him.

The Tourist - movie screenshot

Knowing that the police suspect he has altered his appearance, he asks her to take a particular train to Venice and “find someone my height and build and make them believe it’s me”. As you may have guessed, Elise’s subsequent stroll through the train culminates in her attaching herself to Frank Tupelo (Depp), an American travelling alone after the breakup of his marriage who, we must assume, looks rather like Pierce. He is instantly drawn to Elise (as is every other male in the entire universe if this film is to be believed!) which immediately brings him to Acheson’s attention, not to mention that of Reginald Shaw (Berkoff), the gangster searching for his missing loot along with his various henchmen!

The Tourist - movie screenshot

Whether it’s a good film or not, there’s one thing about The Tourist that’s impossible to deny – it sure looks nice! Jolie and Depp are hardly the most horrifying actors to look at under normal circumstances but here they’re decked out in some very classy attire for the most part, especially Jolie. Pretty much every scene takes place in some gorgeous location or highly ornate set too, from Paris and Venice themselves (the latter of which looks particularly stunning) to swanky hotel suites and restaurants, a posh ball (the dance kind, not the spherical kind). Hell, even the Scotland Yard offices feature a nice fusion of elegant, antique furniture and high-tech computers and devices!

The Tourist - movie screenshot

Unfortunately, however, the aesthetic splendour of The Tourist is pretty much the extent of its creative endeavours. It’s basically a pretty chase movie, but since the chasees spend much of their screentime together, they really need to have good chemistry and regrettably they do not. Jolie (complete with passable English accent) is a picture of refinement throughout but that’s about all she does, while Depp, occasionally bordering on Captain Jack tomfoolery, is initially convincing as the out-of-his-depth tourist of the film’s name, but seems to grow accustomed to his predicament a little too easily. Everyone else is just along for the ride really, with the possible exception of Shaw. While maybe a bit stereotyped, he does also have a genuinely menacing air about him. Maybe the problem with the The Tourist is simply that it looks so nice, the rest of it couldn’t hope to keep up. Actually that’s a bit harsh, but it could’ve been so much better, and I didn’t like the ending at all. Watch it to give your eyes a treat, but don’t go in expecting an intelligently-crafted thriller. They seem to have left that in France.

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RKS Score: 6/10

Limitless Review

Limitless Movie Review by Honorabili

Score: 8 out of 10

First, the trailer:
I’m hesitant to post the trailer because it pretty much ruins the movie. It doesn’t really ruin the movie to the point of giving away the ending BUT it does include scenes showing part of the ending so if you’re like me in the sense that you can usually extrapolate what the whole movie is about, do not watch it. The trailer is the following, if you are still curious about it:

The story consists of a struggling alcoholic science fiction writer that through a coincidental encounter with his ex brother-in-law, which is a drug dealer, he gets access to an experimental drug that lets you unlock one hundred percent the potential your brain has rather than using the measly ten to twenty percent that we all do. Think of it like Flowers For Algernon except that instead of him being literally retarded he is an above average, although unmotivated, individual who is boosted even further.

The director’s style keeps a really good pace as there pretty much is never a dull moment in the movie. Although there are other science fiction movies out right now, like Battle: LA and Sucker Punch, this movie I found to be more exciting than those. The movie feels more like a modern day Twilight Zone episode then let’s say an Outer Limits one.

Limitless movie Bradley Cooper Eddie Morra

There are a few parts that you might think “Oh well if he’s so smart how come he hasn’t thought of this” but the movie covers its bases well as it continues. I get pretty critical of movies where the character has super intelligence yet they haven’t yet done the first thing I thought of with my inferior brain. There are just about two plausible endings for a story like this and the movie does pick one of these rather than leave you confused and questioning what you just saw.

The movie does engage you and does make you think. Would you take a shortcut to become successful? Would you do it even if it endangered your life and maybe the lives of the people around you? Are you smart enough to outsmart entire organizations that have more power than you but might not be as clever? How far are you willing to go for success? How would you feel about yourself if the only way you were really successful was by taking something that turned you into a super genius? Who can you really trust if you have something that will make anybody succeed in life but most others will want to get their hands on, at any cost?

I did like that the movie correlated intelligence and motivation as one of the main factors a person needs to succeed in life as opposed to just coming out with one idea, whoring it out, and being an asshole like many other movies do, like Middle Men or The Social Network, which are both movies I love.

Anyways, before spoil the movie for you, if you have to watch a movie in the movie theatre this weekend, this is the obviously good movie for you to watch, and if you’re reading this in the future, I would say at least rent and view this film. Some of you might even want to add it to your film collection.