¨Why is everyone trying to kill me? ¨
The Tourist hasn`t had a very good reception with the critics so somehow I went into this expecting it would be terrible. I had heard Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie had real bad chemistry together, but I was surprised that I actually enjoyed this film quite a bit and thought their performance was great. I can`t recall one bad movie Johnny Depp has made lately, he seems to always bring a new and different look every time and his charisma always comes through to make him likeable or at least give the viewers an entertaining time. Angelina Jolie was as beautiful as ever and not only turned the head of every person in the movie, but also left the viewers awe struck. I guess many people were disappointed because they expected more from such a talented cast, but I got more than what I was expecting and was very entertained throughout the film with the action and comedy. Depp and Jolie weren`t terrible together and I thought their chemistry was very believable. The main problem with The Tourist is the plot and screenplay (written by von Donnersmarck, McQuarrie, and Fellowes) which is very unbelievable at times, but the actors and the beautiful European scenery make this a very entertaining film. I wouldn`t have nominated it as Best Movie in the Golden Globes, but it isn`t terrible either. I`m pretty sure it won`t win anyway, the nomination was a bit too much, but the awful criticism it has received is way too unfair.
The plot is pretty simple and as I said before it isn`t the strong point of the film. Johnny Depp plays Frank Tupelo, a widowed math professor from the States who is visiting Venice on his own. During a train ride he runs into the lovely Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) who hits on him right away. The catch is that Elise has an agenda of her own. She has a romantic affair with Alexander, an accountant for a mobster who has stolen over two billion dollars from him and has disappeared for the last two years. The Interpol and the mobsters are searching for him and they know that Elise is the only person who can lead them to him. After two years of silence, Elise has received a note from Alexander asking her to meet him in Venice and on the way choose someone about his height to mislead police officials; hence Elise seduces Frank so officials think he is Alexander. Frank ends up getting into trouble running from the Interpol and the mobsters who are set to kill him, and Elise realizes things have gone too far so she decides to help him. The movie mixes comedy with action and it does it very well thanks to the cast and not the material they have to work with. There are several plot twists that may result a little unbelievable, but the movie still makes for an entertaining time. I have to admit the scenery also helped quite a bit.
The plot may sound a little familiar for some people, especially if you have seen the 2005 French Film Anthony Zimmer, staring Sophie Marceau (ex Bond girl) and directed by Jerome Salle. The Tourist is actually a remake of that movie and they`re usually not well conceived in Hollywood so maybe that is one reason why critics hated it so much. The other reason might be that a lot more was expected from director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck who was following up on his highly successful German Oscar award winning film, The Lives of Others (which ranks at number 57 in the IMDB top 250 films of all time). He had set the bar very high, because that film was truly a masterpiece and The Tourist can`t even be compared at that level. Do not expect too much from this movie, and if you do so you might just end up enjoying this film for its star power, but be warned the plot and screenplay are very week. I have to admit I had a very good time with The Tourist, the last film of the year I will see.