Saturday, January 31, 2015

A-Z Movies, T: "The Tourist"

Recommended by:
This is one of the last movies my mother went out to see before she passed away. I thought it would be nice to honor her memory by including it on the list.*

Movie Stats:
Released 2010 (Egypt)
American, French & Italian, in English (some French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish, mostly translated)
Director - Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars - Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany

Plot Summary:
When American tourist Frank Tupelo (Depp), is used by a beautiful woman, Elise Clifton-Ward (Jolie), to throw the police off her trail (because she’s going to meet her fugitive boyfriend), he soon finds himself embroiled in a world of intrigue. Bettany co-stars as John Acheson, the overzealous British inspector on Elise’s trail.

Blue language; minor violence.

Bad Stuff:
Some of the dialogue is really terrible. Example:
Elise: “Ask me to dinner.”
Frank: “Would you like to go to dinner?”
Elise: “Women don’t like to be asked questions.”
Me: /bangs head against table

The music is awful. I felt like I was watching a movie from the 90s.

It took a long time to get to the action, but once it did the action was neither very good nor particularly believable. The boat chase scene in particular was terrible.

With about 30 minutes left in the film, I had a feeling that there was one twist left and that I knew what it was. So when it came, I wasn’t especially surprised, but I was still disappointed. What a stupid plot twist!

Good Stuff:
It was nice to see Johnny Depp do some actual acting again. I’d gotten pretty tired of his “lovable weirdo” schtick.

In the way that it was an homage to 1960s spy thrillers, it was enjoyable. Jolie reminded me quite a bit of Audrey Hepburn.

Venice looked beautiful.

The Verdict:
This is one of those movies that the longer it went on, the less I liked it. I was skeptical going in (not a Jolie fan, no longer a Depp fan, and the story sounded dumb to me) but was determined to give it a fair shake. I thought it actually started out with a lot of promise. Once the action began, it fell apart. It was very cliche. Neither plot twist (yes, there were two) was surprising. Nor were they believable. I also found a lot of the personal interactions in this movie troubling; it just didn’t seem like the way that normal human beings would interact with each other. (SPOILER example: If Inspector Acheson keeps doing the exact things his boss, Chief Inspector Jones [Timothy Dalton, in an inspired casting choice. He was very good.], tells him not to do, why is he never fired? Nice accountability in that department.)

I give the movie 2.75 stars. 

*My mother developed an adorable, later-in-life crush on Depp and thus always wanted to see all of his films. I too had a long-term crush on Depp, which started about the time of “21 Jump Street” (the TV show, obviously) and ended about the time he started dressing like a dirty hobo IRL and acting the fool in all of his movies.


Patricia said...

So! I love this director's name. It reminds me of the character in the Cohen Brother's "Intolerable Cruelty" Heinz the Baron Claus Von Espy.

I was crazy about von Donnersmarck's "The Lives of Others." This got a horrible review in the paper and thus I did not make an attempt to go and see it. But I came across it in the library and man, did I love this movie.

I like Angelina Jolie, so I had that going for me, but I agree with you, it's nice to see Johnny Depp acting like a person and not a weird semi-person.

Anyway, if you haven't seen the Lives of Others, I heartily recommend it, it's nothing like this movie. Nothing at all.

Also, in looking up his credits on IMDB (nothing else directed except those two movies) his birth name is: Florian Maria Georg Christian Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck Even awesomer.

balyien said...

I've heard a lot of great things about "The Lives of Others." I didn't realize it was from the same director as this.

And I concur that his name is awesome. If I had a name like that, I might insist on saying the full thing every time I met someone new. "Hi, I'm John Smith." "Nice to meet you, I'm Florian Maria Georg Christian Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck."