cinema reviews: The Tourist

This spy ‘mistaken-identity’ thriller was entertaining but it could have been so much more, with big guns such as Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in the lead roles, given a plot that could have been promising.

Now, as a major Depp fan I could be slightly biased in saying this, but Jolie just did not add much to the film except for pouting those giant 3D lips. This is not my jealous streak talking, it is just that playing the femme-fatale should involve more actual acting. Instead the would-be intriguing character of Elise Clifton-Ward is reduced to a woman exhuding copious amounts of vanity and smugness, and of course endless designer costume changes, but I wanted more from her than just a fashion show. This was a chance to give us a strong female lead but although the lips remained plump the rest of Jolie fell flat.

Depp also did not impress the way I expected but at least there was far more given to his role of the ‘normal’ math teacher Frank Tupelo. Suddenly finding himself caught up in a world of danger and intrigue Depp creates a character which is witty while leading us to think that there is more to this guy than just bad hair.

The film begins in Paris where Elise is under surveillance by what we are told are agents under assignment by Scotland Yard’s John Acheson (Paul Bettany ). They ‘try’ to follow her, desperate to find the new identity of her lover who after embezzling more than $2 billion from a sinister gangster, underwent serious plastic surgery. Keeping her stalkers on their toes Elise randomly sits next to American tourist, Frank, on a train headed for Venice. Mesmorized by his new companion Frank follows Elise to a top hotel and there they develop feelings for one another. However problems arise when the police and the gangster out for revenge mistake him for the embezzler they are hunting, and Frank finds himself in hot water, dodging bullets, and trying not to wind up in the wrong hands. Feeling sorry for Frank, Elise helps him out of a few predicaments while still hoping to finally meet with her old lover. Loyalties and true feelings are questioned and the situation comes to a head when there is nowhere left to run.

The Tourist is not the thriller it was promised to be - it is a bit of fluff instead of something more grittier.

Verdict: 3.5/5



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