It’s nothing new for a movie to lavish postcard love on exotic locales, but The Tourist takes the practice to near-hilarious extremes.
If it feels like watching two stars romping through a well-paid holiday… well, that’s probably not far from the truth. Angelina Jolie has revealed her agent only said, “There’s this film in Venice…” and she was in.
The result is a wispy caper about a super-hot mystery babe (that’ll be Ang, then) and the doltish Midwestern maths teacher (Johnny Depp) she ensnares to throw Scotland Yard and Russian goons off her fugitive boyfriend’s tail.
The Tourist’s brain trust would love us to fondly compare their trifle to To Catch A Thief and Charade, and flatter to deceive with some weighty off-screen talent.
Installing Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives Of Others) at the helm seems like a diversionary tactic to throw critics off the scent, while a procession of script doctors were surely laughing all the way to the bank with this gig.
While the film does fashion a few nimble twists, they were imported from the obscure French original Anthony Zimmer (2005), leaving some lame funny business for Depp as the most obvious results of their labours.
The actor coasts through with a rakish beard, content to gaze at his co-star in sleepy, worshipful surprise for 107 minutes.
For her part, Jolie makes a modicum of effort with her cut-glass accent, but mostly lets her eyes, lips and hips do the work.
The support cast offers small pleasures: Paul Bettany as a venal British agent and Steven Berkoff as a sadistic billionaire act like they’re in a different, better thriller.
And there are worse ways to spend two hours than watching lush visuals of Venice. But the city’s sinking fast – and the same goes for The Tourist.
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Hot stars in a hot spot - but this Tourist is a trap, striving to conjure a mood of suave romanticism but feeling rushed, harried and workmanlike.