By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
An old-fashioned femme fatale sets up an American math teacher she meets on a train to throw police and murderous gangsters off the trail of her boyfriend.Danger and hi-jinks ensue when she starts to fall for her bait.
This movie has it all: Hollywood superstars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, and in-demand director coming off winning a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for his debut feature, a script that’s a throwback to classic Cary Grant films with plenty of action, style, and humor, and one of the best shooting locations in the world- Venice.
And yet, The Tourist is somehow considerably less than a sum of its parts. One reason is probably its refusal to trust its audience. Early in the film, Jolie reads a letter from her beau stating “pick someone of my height and build and make them believe it’s me.” Not five minutes later Jolie repeats this in annoying voiceover as she’s boarding the train. Who do the screenwriter’s think they’re dealing with, anyway?
Probably the main pitfall of the film is the fact that it hinges on the relationship between Jolie and Depp and yet they have absolutely no chemistry. Part of this could be the fault of Depp, who really isn’t a leading man. He’s one of the best character actors out there, but a straight-faced, Grant or Clooney type he is not.
I’ve got to blame a bit of Depp’s lifeless eyes and apparent boredom on his screen partner, though.The camera makes love to Jolie the whole film, and she gives it nothing in return.She walks in slow motion for something like an hour of the film, which includes an unnecessary close-up of her ass that looks like a boy scout rubbing two dry sticks together to make fire.She is just too skinny, folks, and that coupled with a complete lack of energy turns any attraction to her into fear for her health.
Watch it.It’s not as terrible as it sounds.Jolie starts looking less grotesque the more disheveled she gets and even a bored Depp brings enough quirk to make it worth a rental.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: whenever an obvious plot point is repeated
Take a drink: whenever somebody boards a boat
Drink a shot: each close-up of Jolie’s desiccated rear