Friday, 11 November 2011



Depp & Jolie take a light vacation.

12A, 103 Minutes. Starring: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany & Timothy Dalton. Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Screenplay: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck,Christopher McQuarrie & Julian Fellowes

Somewhere in between Angelina Jolie wounding a little in 'Salt' and Johnny Depp about to venture 'Stranger Tides' as Captain Jack Sparrow comes 'The Tourist'. A film where the A list, Hollywood young living legends check into Venice to cut a movie whilst taking a vacation. Racking up the miles from Paris to Venice they remake a 2007 French hit 'Anthony Zimmer' with German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

The set up is simple...ish, just like the plot. Angelina Jolie's character, Elise is followed by the police, all sorts of special agents and behind the newspaper and coat guys as they are all after her husband, Alexander. Her husband sends word for her to take a train from Paris to Venice in order to find a suitable stooge with a similar build and height. Elise's task is to make this man look like her husband so her tail will be thrown off the scent. This is where we meet Johnny Depp's Frank and the story begins.

This jet setting film is designed to be a style over substance affair and is more of a classic crime caper than your average slick thriller. Still as Depp and Jolie look to explore some different territory the critics have already began to set up camp. This is exactly what 'The Tourist' is however, it's just different. It may not be the greatest release this year but that doesn't mean it's bad. It may not be well travelled but neither is it in way over it's head. The film is light but enjoyable, a little slow in parts but also one you can keep pace with. It may not be the most memorable Friday you'll have but it will be an enjoyable one.

The film is well written and even if you suspect a twist you will still be kept guessing until the end. There are some brilliant choice pieces of direction, like when the pair are shot (with a camera that is) in separate rooms. The romance and chemistry between the two stars may simmer more than it boils, but it still bubbles. The laughs may be few but there are some pure moments of comic genius, besides this isn't a romantic comedy either, nor is it an action thriller. The film sits somewhere between the two genres serving as a caper that would of felt at home in the 50's. Classic feeling like the timeless European backdrop.

Now even though it's sitting in an era of special effects and big budgets, 'The Tourist' is as quaint an as endearing as it's location. Proving that an old dog doesn't have to learn new tricks to get attention. It's refreshing in a film to see two 'regular' characters involved in action but not just automatically able to handle weaponry or action situations, like say a random chef who is 'Under Siege'. Although this film isn't one you could call 'real' at least there's some authenticity to it.

Nothing new or broke here as Depp is on his usual, top, charming form and Jolie is on her alluring one as she rubs off from her dose of 'Salt' in a film that the aforementioned should have been more like. The leading man and woman effortlessly perform well, motoring this film along, even if it looks like they never leave second gear. Still no one can pull off running across rooftops like Jack Sparrow in his P.J.s like Depp can and no one can put on and wear those dresses and that quiet confidence like Jolie. The A listers get a B plus and the support from Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton help bond the film together.

Still even with the one time sexiest man and woman alive taking top billing the films top attraction is the beautiful locations of Paris and more notably Venice. From every old hotel balcony to gondola filled river this picture is a postcard of perfection. Visually stunning and not mentally challenging, 'The Tourist' may have been called a lot of things but one thing it is is enjoyable. The film is the ideal Friday night date movie, with neither party having to compromise. It's not too romantic for the guys and not too violent for the girls. Depp provides eye candy for the girls and a mans perspective for the guys and Jolie vice versa. Even if 'The Tourist' is a bit of a vagabond in nomads land looking for a place to go it still hits home. Sure it may not be a five star destination but like many love it or hate it trips, it's best you check it out for yourself. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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