103 Min | Action – Romance – Thriller | December 2010
IMDB Rating: 6.0
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany
The Tourist Review: “The Tourist” is very similar to some of the Hollywood escapist fair of the 1950’s and early 1960’s with the likes of Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. In several films during this era, Grant played an American in European exotic locales dealing with espionage in relatively light-hearted plots. The classic films of this ilk which come to mind are “To Catch a Thief”, “Charade”, even “Roman Holiday”, taking place in Monte Carlo, Monaco, Paris, and Rome. In “The Tourist”, Depp plays a Cary Grant-like character and Angelina Jolie has the long dark hair of Audrey Hepburn with the demureness of Grace Kelly. The action begins in Paris then moves to Venice. The best thing about The Tourist in some ways is the opening.
In The Tourist, The viewer is plopped right into the middle of things without any background or knowledge. A demure mystery woman (Jolie) arrives at a cafe in Paris near the Champs-Elysees and orders something, which we learn is already being prepared. She’s a regular. A mysterious note is given to her and provides detailed instructions concerning exact steps she’s supposed to take right after leaving the cafe. While she is reading the note, we learn she is being staked out by some kind of government officials. Part of the instruction says “pick someone with my height and build and make them believe it is me” She burns the note and makes her way to the central train terminal in Paris. Part of the fun of the story is that we don’t know who wrote the note, and part of the mystery-fantasy is a gradual revelation regarding who the unknown letter-writer is. On a train to Venice, she meets a clueless American tourist from Wisconsin, Frank, played by Johnny Depp.
A fun fantasy which combines elements of romantic-comedy and international espionage. There are a couple obligatory chase scenes and even a romantic interlude or two, with the compulsory ballroom scene and casino. What makes it work are the fine performances by Depp and Jolie. The ending is pretty interesting, but there are aspects during The Tourist which don’t quite mesh with some of the scenes which have occurred previously. But if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief and let your imagination run wild, “The Tourist” is a fun treat, sort of like a nice bow of vanilla ice cream. French vanilla of course on Viennese China.