At first glance of The Tourist, you would notice that everything about the movie seems pretty cool. Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in a Hitchcockian thriller film involving mistaken identities, shot mostly in Venice. Sounds like a pretty fun movie, if anything, it seems like it would provide a nice escape for a few hours. What you would actually be in store for is an abysmal film where the actors, direction, and the screenplay are all completely uninspired and anything but thrilling.
Elise (Angelina Jolie) is in deep trouble with Scotland Yard. She has criminal connections to a mysterious man named Alexander Pierce, who has stolen £744 million from a mobster, Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff), operating out of Russia, and he owes that stolen money in back taxes to the British government. Pierce tasks Elise with fleeing France and heading to Venice, but along the way she has to pick up a man with the same build and features as Pierce to throw off the authorities. She chooses a math teacher from Wisconsin, Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), and gets him involved not only with Scotland Yard, but also with the Shaw.
Where to begin? Well, let’s start off with the good. Venice looks absolutely beautiful, and it’s obvious that it’s one of the most beautiful places to film. The water and the design of the buildings, from the modest to the lavish looked great. Another thing that looked great were the costumes. The most kind way to describe this movie is elegant. Jolie’s dresses were beautiful, but the running joke with them got old way too fast. Johnny Depp’s suit that he wore during the end was also very stylish. This is really one of the only movies where I took special notice to the costume design.
But, that’s very little good compared to the overwhelming stink of The Tourist. Let’s talk about the story. In theory, this is a cool idea for a story that very much reminds me of North by Northwest, which objectively is one of Hitchcock’s best movies. What made that movie so intriguing are the interesting characters and the almost light heartedness of the entire situation. In The Tourist, I didn’t care at all what happened to any of the characters nor what the outcome of the movie even was going to be. Angelina Jolie seemed completely uninterested, and she even said that the only reason she took the movie was because it would be a quick shoot in Venice, and who wouldn’t want to get paid to go to Venice and make a movie? The only person who seemed to be taking their role seriously was Johnny Depp. It was refreshing to see him in a role that isn’t a rehash of Jack Sparrow.
Nothing really seems to be salvageable. There seems to be some attempts at comedy, and I’ll even say that a few of Depp’s lines made me laugh, but no one else really seems interested enough to give a comedic performance. The story is so predictable that even the situation can’t be played off as comical. Then there’s the thriller aspect. The direction of the movie is so slow paced and dull that there is little that is thrilling about it. With this in mind can this movie be called either a comedy or a thriller? I don’t think so.
It’s disappointing to see two very talented people in such a beautiful city making such a terrible movie. The costumes and the locations are all great, but everything else is garbage. Only Johnny Depp’s underhanded performance makes anything entertaining at all. This is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a very long time, and I can’t even recommend this as a movie that’s so bad it’s good. It doesn’t even qualify for that.