Beautiful location + beautiful actors = Ugly film…
Cast: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton & Steven Berkoff
Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Screenplay by: Christopher McQuarrie, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck & Julian Fellowes
After meeting a mysterious woman (Jolie) on a train to Venice, American tourist Frank (Depp) becomes a decoy in a worldwide police manhunt.
After guiding his excellent debut feature film, The Lives Of Others, to a much deserved Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s first foray into Hollywood has somehow produced a very different outcome indeed. Surprisingly this has happened with a whole lot of talent involved, not just the German director’s presence but also the fact Christopher McQuarrie – who once penned the brilliant screenplay for The Usual Suspects – has a screenplay credit here, and the lead roles were given to two of the hottest actors working today.
Problem is, the casting of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie should have produced fireworks but the lack of chemistry between the pair is alarmingly evident throughout. It doesn’t help that Depp takes his character too seriously in a film that clearly has no intention of being taken seriously. Depp’s natural charm is sorely missing and therefore it’s almost inconceivable that the beautiful and seductive mystery woman that Jolie inhabits, would so easily fall for the math teacher tourist that Depp portrays. Angelina fairs a little better with her playful performance but mostly it’s her hips and stunning wardrobe attire that do the talking.
Something else that naturally stands out is the beautiful location work in Venice, but sadly the stunning backdrop has no exciting action to compliment it. A foot-chase across rooftops and a fiery boat chase is pretty much all we are given, but both sequences are very low-key and fail to impress.
Along the way a couple of solid supporting performances from Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton do crop up, and there is a decent twist to the tale but for a film that looked so great on paper, The Tourist is far from great on the big screen.