The Tourist got a bit of stick when it came out in cinemas last
December. Ricky Gervais was pretty scathing about it in his Golden
Globes opening monologue shortly afterwards: "It seems like
everything this year was three dimensional," he commented. "Except
the characters in The Tourist". Then he apologized, saying he
hadn't even seen it…. "Who has?" he added.
I didn't see it at the cinema, but it came out on DVD recently,
so out of curiosity I got hold of a copy. Primarily to check out
Angelina's performance, I must admit, because despite being well
and truly partnered up with fellow Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt,
with whom she famously has several kids, Angelina Jolie remains
something of a lesbian icon*.
So, what kind of film is it? It's a spy thriller in the Bond
mold, set in Venice for the most part. Angelina plays a
super-glamorous woman, Elise Ward, who is being pursued by the
authorities of some kind (British ones, specifically, including
Paul Bettany and Tim Dalton) as her partner, Alexander Pearse, has
stolen billions from a gangster and owes £700million in back taxes
as well. Careless.
The film starts with Elise, who is under heavy surveillance,
receiving a note from Alex instructing her to board a train to
Venice and look for a man with a similar build to him and convince
the FBI/M15/interchangable authorities that this stranger is Alex
himself. The stranger she chooses is Johnny Depp, or rather his
character Frank, an American schoolteacher and tourist. He is
understandably flattered by her company and they chat for a while
Before you know it we are in Venice, and it all gets very
fast-paced and exciting as poor old Frank is mistaken for
Alexander, not only by the authorities but by the gangster he has
stolen from. Cue chases, gunfire, hidden safes and so on.
Is it any good? Actually, yes. I'm not a fan of this type of
film per se but I really enjoyed it. Angelina is radiant in a
super-thin Hepburnesque way, channeling old Hollywood glamour (at
one point she orders "scampi and champagne risotto" - how glamorous
is that!) and speaking in a not too bad British accent. It's easy
to see why she is such a super star. Johnny Depp is pretty good too
and also gets a bit old Hollywood, smoking a fake cigarette and
wearing a pretty white tux. The chemistry between them, while not
sizzling, is believable enough. It's beautifully shot as well -
Venice looks amazing.
So, in conclusion, a pretty decent film with some real star
power. Why not get the popcorn and pull up a seat?
Get yourself a copy
*I'm going to define 'lesbian icon' for the sake of this review
as 'a woman that a lot of lesbians admire, in this case because
they consider her to be almost unbearably sexually