20 Aug 2014
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'Tourist' Has Some Sights To See

Jolie/Depp thriller holds its own as a good film, with the added attraction of being set in Venice.

For all of the flack The Tourist got, it’s not that bad of a film.  I have seen MUCH worse.  While it’s not the world’s best thriller, I think people had super high expectations about this film because of its cast. 

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie are such big stars that a movie with both of them comes with a certain level of anticipation.And, since it is not the best film ever produced, I guess some people felt let down by these two major box office and international superstars. 

Well, that’s all fine and good but it is judging everything BUT the movie, which is a fair thriller with good amount of both suspense and action.  Jolie and Depp are just fine here in their roles…though the script really does not provide either of them with any kind of acting challenge.  The plot is clever, without being too clever for its own good (ala Duplicity) and the dialogue is campy/corny enough to be right for the plot without being ridiculous. 

Depp plays a teacher on vacation in Venice who happens upon a mysterious woman who is being chased.  In the beginning we think that Depp is just playing along because she’s Angelina Jolie and who wouldn’t want to get mixed up in a mystery with her.  But, Depp’s character turns out to be more than he seems to be…or does he?  The surprise at the end is one I must admit I did not see coming and it really sealed the movie for me as a good thriller. 

Even if you might not think so, remember that this film is set in Venice.  Probably not since Summertime and Don’t Look Now has Venice acted as such a beautiful main character.  The Floating City comes to life on screen with such verve and passion.  So, even if you’re not wowed by the characters or the plot, look at this as a kind of mildly entertaining travelogue for a city that needs to be seen AND experienced at least once in a lifetime. 

Many other thrillers that are not panned are cornier, more clichéd and more predictable than The Tourist.  Give it a chance…you might not LOVE it, but I’m sure it will at least hold your attention and not inspire laughter in all of the wrong places…which, nowadays, is a lot to say for a movie! 

The Tourist: 2010, PG-13, 103 minutes, directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, starring Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton.  The Niles Public Library owns copies of this title on DVD. 

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