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Sunday, May 8, 2011

DVD Review: The Tourist

Rating: 5.8/10 - Watchable

A fair story is let down by weak chemistry between the leads.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Screenplay: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie and Julian Fellowes. Producers: Graham King, Tim Headington, Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber and Jonathan Glickman. Based on Anthony Zimmer by Jérôme Salle. Editing: Joe Hutshing and Patricia Rommel. Cinematographer: John Seale. Score: James Newton Howard. Studio: GK Films, Spyglass Entertainment, Studio Canal and Relativity Media. Starring:Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Paul Bettany.

The Tourist tells the story of Frank (Johnny Depp), an American tourist. On a train to Venice, he is approached by a mysterious woman called Elise (Angelina Jolie). There is intrigue and people run around pretty locations.

Watch this movie if you like to look at Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. They are not hard on the eyes and the plot and action scenes in the film are not either. The Tourist is a throwback to the caper films that were released decades ago. It is an enjoyable experience as long as you do not want to enjoy some sort of chemistry between Depp and Jolie. When this film was made, it was rumoured that Brad Pitt was worried about how his partner, Jolie, would take to her scenes with Depp. Would the chemistry lead to Depp leaving Pitt? Well, Pitt had nothing to worry about. The chemistry between Depp and Jolie is boring in The Tourist. They do not work well together and I hope they will not join up for another film any time soon. Thus, please Ms Jolie, do not star in Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Penelope Cruz acted well alongside Depp in Blow and she appears with him again in Pirates 4, so the producers of that film must remove any suggestion from their heads of bringing Jolie into that franchise.

The Tourist was directed and co-written by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. He made the brilliant study into human privacy, The Lives of Others. Released in 2006, it dealt with how the state's secret police pried into people living in East Germany's lives. It won many awards and was a moving film. It was on the back of this strong reception that von Donnersmarck was chosen to direct The Tourist. One of the co- writers was Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote the Usual Suspects (1995). The Tourist is neither von Donnersmarck nor McQuarrie's best work then but it does not represent a total loss form either.

As an aside, it may interest you to note that The Tourist is effectively a remake of Anthony Zimmer, a 2005 Luc Besson film. That film was average and fairly entertaining too. Are you a Luc Besson fan? Would you like Screenforum SA to review some Besson films? Do let us know with a comment.

Verdict: This is an enjoyable, predictable film that is full of pretty fluff but lacks character depth and chemistry.

The Tourist is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Alistair Anderson

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