Friday, April 29, 2011

The Tourist - DVD Review


Starring Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton and Steven Berkoff.
Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

This is the kind of tale I could see Alfred Hitchcock batting out of the park with Fred MacMurray and Adila Valli in 1943. Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie seem like a dream paring, and yet their chemistry never ignites, and the movie floats along like a series of "movie star" shots on different soundstages and exotic locales.

Depp plays Frank, an American math teacher on holiday in Venice to recover from a broken heart. I never believed Depp was a math teacher, and even his being an American strained credulity. Jolie is Elise, a British spy, but she didn't seem to get much more direction than "Look marvelous, darling!" She meets up with him on a train in hopes that those spying on her will believe Frank to be her lover named Alexander, a thief who's made off with 744 million pounds. He is a decoy.

The director von Donnersmarck was behind the excellent The Lives of Others, but he is the wrong man for the job here. The pacing starts slow and never picks up. It's not funny so it can't be called a comedy. What little action there is goes through the motions. The stringed soundtrack is relentless. There were times I felt like I was watching the serious parts of a 1970s fish-out-of-water comedy starring Dean Jones.

But at least Timothy Dalton has fun.

1 comment:

Donna K. Weaver said...

I enjoyed this film. Perhaps because I'd heard bad things about it and my expectations weren't high. I love Paul Bettany and I wanted to b*tch slap him, so he must have done okay. =D