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

The PFI Tripe Awards: The Johnny Depp Shame Award

This award is brought to you by Pepsi, The choice for a new generation.

Johnny Depp Shame Award

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we recover and chillout from the glory of the last award. The award presented tonight is simple, and to the point, unlike the recipients of said awards. Johnny Depp, one of the greatest actors of our era. PFI Best Actor 2003 winner for his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Edward Scissorhands. Ed Wood. Sleepy Hollow. Nick of Time. The list goes on and on of great Johnny Depp movies. But, loyal viewers, the buck stops here. Johnny Depp has starred in two movies so ATROCIOUS, they ALMOST TAKE AWAY from all the great shit he’s done. Tonight’s award was delayed a couple of weeks in order to find a proper host. We needed a host to make sense of these senseless movies, so we searched far and wide, till we hit Westchester, NY. The PFI was so enthralled by what this man had to say about these terrible movies, we decided to have him present this award, as well as destroy the movies with me. I present to you….

Don Vito

Don Vito: Thank you Paul. I’m shuggapresenting tonight the awards for Johnny Depp’s crappy movies. Idahowhathewas thinking after reading dees scripts. This first award is a LACK of script.

Paul: Thank you Don Vito. After reading these awards, please realize that there is more dialogue in these awards, than in the entire script of The Astronaut’s Wife. And no, this is NOT a good thing. I can tolerate movies with little dialogue. If anyone has seen Quest for Fire, a great movie with not a single word spoken, you’d understand. Quest for Fire worked because what was on screen was captivating and kept us watching. In The Astronaut’s Wife, the set design is just as boring as the minimalist script. Pastels, draperies, about 50fthjntjnmjnrs234521412410 shots of a lamp, etc. Johnny Depp plays an astronaut who comes back from space and impregnates his wife with two alien twins. THERE, THAT’s WHAT THE MOVIE’S ABOUT.

The simplicity of that sentence was the result of 2 hours of boredom and wrist slashing agony. Does that plot sound ridiculous? It’s even worse seeing it play on screen for a mind numbing 2 hours. There’s not really much else to say about The Astronaut’s Wife, as there’s not much said IN THE ASTRONAUT’S WIFE. I wish MST3K was still around. They’d have an absolute field day with this piece of crap. Don Vito what did you think??

Don Vito: I didn’t understand a thing, that movie was written by vulcan idiots, plot all discombobulated. Idahowhat it’s about gahber dumb movie wasting my time…Here’s another movie by vulcan idiots….

Paul: Thanks Don Vito. Roman Polanski, director of The Ninth Gate, was extradited from this country back in the 1970’s on the charge of rape. Had that incident never occured, he would’ve been charged with raping the wallet of moviegoers everywhere with the Ninth Gate, and of course, extradited. The Ninth gate is a massive assault on all that is senseful and purposeful. Never before has a movie tried to be so opaque, vague, dark, mysterious, and made all those elements unintentionally funny. 20 minutes into the movie Fernando and I were already destroying it. In fact I’d like to have a Ninth Gate viewing, invite a bunch of people and watch us rip it to shreds. It’s that easy. One shot in particular was extra shitty. Johnny Depp is on the phone, he looks behind him, there’s some dog staring at him. Depp looks back again, and the dog is gone. ::CLUBS SEAL:: THE DISAPPEARING ACT HAS BEEN DONE TIME AND TIME AGAIN, ENOUGH PLEASE. Sadly, the movie did not disappear. Johnny Depp is trying to find a book that opens the gates of hell. He looks everywhere for it, running into Skeletor and the Super Mario Brothers on his quest.

Ok, Frank Langella, and two guys who look like the Mario Brothers. But even THAT would’ve entertained more than this movie. Then he meets quite possibly the most ridiculous female lead since Kate Beckinsale in Pearl Harbor. Some mysterious rhetorical woman who knows about the occult. Nothing she says makes any sense, maybe she also wrote this movie. Notably, there’s a scene where she’s driving somewhere, the way she is driving mimics a old jewish lady with blue hair driving on Collins Avenue on a saturday morning, she’s squinting and everything. She does this for no apparent reason. I so wish I could find a screencap of her face when she’s driving, that’d guarantee everyone reading this to pee in their pants.

There is one good scene in this movie, Skeletor walks in a room of cultists and starts screaming out “MUMBO JUMBO, MUMBO JUMBO!!!” Fernando and I were ecstatic as this was the FIRST THING THAT MADE SENSE IN THE MOVIE. THE MOVIE KNEW IT WAS MUMBO JUMBO!!!! Depp and the Occult woman inexplicably have sex in the last scene of the movie, and the gates of hell open. Depp takes the book and walks into hell, I think. I certainly hope the screenplay for the Ninth Gate was what he was carrying in there. And I hope it doesn’t come out either. This movie was so terrible that we didn’t shut up about it for weeks after we saw it. We’d walk around Braddock screaming out “MUMBO JUMBO, MUMBO JUMBO!!” in honor of the tripe. Don Vito what did you think about The Ninth Gate?

Don Vito: It’s BULLSHIT I didn’t like it.

Paul: Couldn’t have put it better myself Don. Stay tuned next week as we present the ROMANTIC RITALIN award. Good night!!!