Starring: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Running Time: 103 mins
The Tourist is an American film about a special agent who, while on the run from security forces across Europe, meets an innocent man and takes him under her wing. However, he soon becomes the target of a number of international criminals in a case of mistaken identity.
While it may have the ingredients for a fun blend of action and comedy, The Tourist is one of the dullest and most ridiculous Hollywood spy flicks I’ve seen in quite a while. Lacking good humour at any point, while featuring an equally moronic and frankly ludicrous plot, the film is a frustrating watch throughout, only saved by a couple of strong central performances.
I’ll get onto the positives in a bit, but the Latin thing I want to say about The Tourist is that it’s really not worth your time. Of course, there are far worse, more hateful films out there, but there’s something so painfully plain and irritatingly dumb about The Tourist that makes it a real chore to sit through.
At its core, the story is fairly simple. Secret agent intrigue matches together with international criminals and police, while an innocent party is unwittingly dragged into the mess. In that, there’s no need for big twists or high unpredictability, just a simple, funny delivery of what could have been a thoroughly enjoyable film.
Unfortunately, for all its lack of intelligence, The Tourist decides to go mad with a story that really shouldn’t be all to complicated. Of course, it’s always nice to see a film try something a little different from the formula, but the way this film does about adding extra intrigue is simply ridiculous, taking away from any of the light-hearted, fun-loving potential of the movie.
On top of that, the film really misses the mark when it comes to the comedy. Fortunately, The Tourist not an overly serious affair (it would have totally unbearable if that were the case), but all of its humour and attempts at making you laugh are frankly pathetic, worsened by a horribly misjudged performance from Johnny Depp that leaves you entirely confused as to just how silly or serious the film is trying to be.
Now, I said previously that the performances were one of the film’s few saving graces, and that’s still the case – just with the exception of Depp. Angelina Jolie may not be as striking an action lead as in Tomb Raider or Salt, but she has a calming and professional presence that brings a much-needed level-headed air to proceedings.
Paul Bettany is also surprisingly enjoyable as the film’s antagonist, a European security official who becomes strongly linked to Jolie and Depp’s state of affairs. His character may not be the most interesting, but in his numerous one-to-one confrontations with Depp, he lights up the screen with a blend of good professionalism and charisma.
With all that said, though, there really isn’t much to rave about with The Tourist. It’s not a hateful film, and its often more light-hearted vibes do well to prevent it from being totally unbearable. However, despite a couple of strong lead performances, the film is a roundly underwhelming watch, with unintelligent writing, poor humour and a confused view of itself in just how silly or serious to be, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.0 overall.