The Tourist

Film, Thrillers
1 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
(21user reviews)
This is a remarkable film. Take the Oscar-winning director of the universally acclaimed ‘The Lives of Others’, and add not one, but two Oscar-winning screenwriters – Julian Fellowes (‘Gosford Park’) and Christopher McQuarrie (‘The Usual Suspects’). Throw in Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, attractive locations in wintry Paris and Venice. Sounds like it can hardly miss, right? Well, ‘The Tourist’ is remarkable because its not inconsiderable talent pool has delivered a would-be ‘light-hearted international crime caper’ which runs the gamut from idiocy to tedium and back again, all the while exuding a smug sense of self-satisfaction which is frankly inexplicable. Long for the days of red London buses, Shirley MacLaine in oriental eye make-up, swishy dissolves and cocktail-hour music? Well, stick with the ’60s celluloid fluff of your choice because it certainly doesn’t get any better here.
Angelina Jolie is our glamorous female lead, inexplicably cast as the English other half to a fugitive embezzler, who’s being eagerly sought by British police for diddling the UK taxman and indeed a heavy-duty gangster (Steven Berkoff – yawn) he’s also left grillions out of pocket. This latterday pimpernel manages to get a message to his beloved in Paris to board a train to Venice and befriend a stranger she can pass off as him to put the pursuers off the scent – enter tousle-haired fake-ciggie-puffing Johnny Depp as the world’s least likely suburban maths teacher. Before long, he’s sharing an exclusive hotel room with this enigmatic seductress, the prelude to being chased across the Venetian rooftops by Russian-accented thugs, and so forth. And in the midst of this, do we detect a frisson of romance….?
Possibly, but that would necessitate emerging from a coma first. The movie’s clearly intended as an insouciant diversion, but von Donnersmarck’s direction paces every single scene with the earnest deliberation of a learner articulated-lorry driver executing an especially tricky three-point turn. Steady…steady…steady. Some felicities of performance or dialogue might enliven the torpor, but there’s a dearth of snappy one-liners, Depp underplays to the degree you feel you must be watching the rehearsal takes, and Jolie pus so much concentration into maintaining her strangled Julie Andrews accent that she’s obviously no energy to invest this mystery lady with any emotional life. There’s barely a flicker of chemistry between the two stars, which renders everything else increasingly academic, especially when the presumed action highlights fall flat (tip: if you want to see a proper boat chase, check out 1971’s Amsterdam-set potboiler ‘Puppet on a Chain’), and Paul Bettany’s struggles to do anything with a thankless ‘Basil Exposition’ part as the man from Scotland Yard are poignant to behold. Top this off with a ‘twist’ ending which is unpredictable in that it’s so ludicrous the film-makers are effectively treating the audience like cretins, and you have a movie that falls down on every level.

Yes, it’s dreck, but we’ve all seen duff movies. What makes this so painfully exasperating is that ‘The Tourist’ is so bloody pleased with itself. It’s as if we're supposed to be pitifully grateful just to see La Jolie in a slinky dress, or peek inside Venice’s swanky Hotel Danieli, or ‘thrill’ to the devastatingly clever plot developments the film-makers have in store for us. Perhaps their ideal viewer is some unfortunate who’s spent a life in seclusion exposed only to endless reruns of ‘Hart to Hart’ and ‘Remington Steele’. If that sounds like you, you might possibly be entertained by this. Just don’t expect too much.


Release details

Release date:
Friday December 10 2010
103 mins

Cast and crew

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Julian Fellowes, Christopher McQuarrie
Johnny Depp
Angelina Jolie
Paul Bettany
Timothy Dalton
Rufus Sewell
Steven Berkoff

Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

It reminded me of those ads for Stella 4..only it wasn't as good. Dreadful.

Saw this on DVD last week. Yes it's ridiculous, but I think it was aiming for escapism, glamour and entertainment. The main problem was that Johnny Depp looked awful! Was very disappointed that Rufus Sewell wasn't in it more, and I love Paul Bettany, so could have done with more of him, too. The scene with the knife and Angelina Jolie's massive lips was a bit inappropriate and gratuitous. I was appalled that the guy who made the fantastic "The Lives of Others" made this.

I saw this film on New Years Day at Slough Cinema. Now because it was released in 2010, that makes it the worst film of last year and this year (so far!)... I was wondering when we'd see Johnny Depp outside of a stupid voice / costume since Public Enemies and was lookign forwad to him playing a regular human. This film is woeful. Lame plot, terrible acting, wasted location, I couldn't stay awake. I should've been alerted to it's crapness by the appearances of Steven Berkoff & Rufus Sewell... They love being in crap films.... All this from the director of one the last 10 years greatest films THE LIVES OF OTHERS... Avoid. Makes Venice look broing. Quite an accomplishment...

The reviewer seems to have missed one little point - that this film is good light hearted entertainment, with no innappropriate vulgarity. An element of mystery remained too in that I wondered at what point the heroine really recognised the hero for who he truely was. This was just a good late night flick.

My sister and I really enjoyed this film,there were funny bits in it, chases ,and it left you guessing until the end.

My sister and I really enjoyed this film,there were funny bits in it, chases ,and it left you guessing until the end.

i think this is an old ies film scenes too long no ipods could have fitted in a saint or champions plot loved it it was entertainment .perfect film for a cold london escape to the sun

Absolute laughable rubbish and boring with it. Do not waste 2 hours of your life on this. Please, i beg you.

Avoid like the plague. How is it possible to make a film this bad with this cast, crew and backdrop? Jolie spends the whole time assuming ludicrous 'alluring' poses and trying to give the camera her best angle while Depp needs to be checked for a pulse. The chase scenes are actually BORING. A total disaster.

Maybe I'm getting soft in my dotage (yes I'm over 21) but I have to dusagree with the majority of the critics and say I was pleasantly surprised and suitably engaged with what I felt to be an above average boy-meets-boobs black cpmedy. Just relax and enjoy the punt.

Take a wonderfully film like 'Lost In Translation' also set in a classic city. Now remove all the chemistry, the believable characters, introduce Hollywood egos, gimmics like jokes.

This film is worth watching for Johnny Depp's gargantuan charisma alone. His understated performance just lights up the screen and Jolie is so darned gorgeous who cares about what she's actually saying?! It's a sweet, charming bit of light entertainment. Ignore the negative reviews.

Totally enjoyed it...don't get the bad reviews. Sure, not tons of action, it's not a James Bond film, but Johnny Depp's performance made it worthwhile.

@NettaUK so this is now a 4* film because you read about it on faceless book - get a life dreary.

Gosh I must have watched this motion picture last night as I found the ticket booth receipt in my waistcoat this morn but heavens I cannot remember the deuce happened in it....

Imagine you are watching an Inspector Clouseau film in slow motion and this movie may just be bearable.

Have a look at the Facebook page on this film.Ignore this idiot.critic.He's in the wrong job.

You've got it the bf wanted to see this movie - it's those lips again - how can we ignore them 6 foot wide Dali ones bright red on the screen. Depp makes Pinocchio feel flesh and blood and Angie has acquired a Joanna Lumley accent. The plot is as exciting as cold Birds custard but Venezia holds its charm - so it gets a soft two stars from me.

OK it's like a 60's TV series IT'S A COMEDY! Yes the dialogue is not great.TOO MANY BRITS THATS WHY.Jolie I have no time for.I didn't get bored.J.D.rarely makes a mistake with his choice of films,and he didn't write the script.Thank God he didn't do the shower scene with Jolie,he doesn't need that to keep his career going.I think he knows that anyway.

Just wanted to see what reviewers in the UK were saying. American reviewers are hammering this film. It is such a piece of poo!