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Frank (Johnny Depp), a mild-mannered American on vacation in Venice, Italy, is befriended by Elise (Angelina Jolie), a breathtakingly beautiful woman with a mysterious secret. Soon, their playful romantic dalliance turns into a complicated web of dangerous deceit as they are chased by Interpol, the Italian police, and Russian hit men in this suspense-filled, international action thriller.
Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie use their star power to help propel The Tourist to its ultimate, satisfying destination. It just takes a little while to get there. Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) sets a leisurely pace for The Tourist, which lets the film be equal parts mystery, romance, thriller, and comedy. But because of its lush cinematography and location-based shooting, The Tourist is perhaps first and foremost a valentine to the city of Venice. Jolie plays Elise, an international woman of mystery, somehow caught up with a glamorous thief who's double-crossed a gangster, Shaw (Steven Berkoff, splendidly menacing). On a train from Paris to Venice, Elise meets Frank (Depp), a schlumpy math teacher from Wisconsin on holiday. Before the train hits Venice, poor Frank has become entangled in a dangerous web that he can't begin to understand. As the plot unfolds, a group of stone-headed thugs dashes after Frank and Elise, darting through canals, across tile rooftops, and into some of the most beautiful hotel rooms in the world. The cinematography of John Seale and the score by James Newton Howard set an immersive tone. Depp and Jolie do a respectable job with their roles, though perhaps because of the mysteries in the plot, as a couple, Elise and Frank lack a certain oomph. But the supporting actors, including Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, and Rufus Sewell, are uniformly excellent, and the story (based on the French film Anthony Zimmer) wraps up nicely. Yet the true star of The Tourist is enchanting Venice--and anyone dreaming of a romantic getaway will not want to miss this trip. --A.T. Hurley
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Bottom line--if you like subtle (or not so subtle) humor, with a nice romance and a love for a chase or two, not to mention Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, try this!
My only real criticisms were perhaps how quickly Jolie's character, Elise, developed such a deep emotional attachment to Depp's character, Frank, when she was supposedly in love with Alexander, or the credibility of the cursory back story of Jolie's character. Perhaps a few more scenes with Depp and Jolie may have solidified the emotional involvement between the two main characters, but both actors portrayed their characters well within the film. The talents of Paul Bettany, Steven Berkoff, Timothy Dalton, Raoul Bova, and Rufus Sewell also bear mentioning. Their performances were equally entertaining as well, in both the dramatic and subtle comedic moments throughout the film.
A special mention to James Newton Howard and Gabriel Yared for the music. Newton's music score truly captured the beauty and action throughout the film, and Yared's "Dance in F" was exquisitely moving in its grace. The film's soundtrack often was hauntingly beautiful and easily reflected a romantic intimacy that other movie scores simply lack.
The Tourist leads the audience into a world of intrigue, beauty, and glamorous elegance with beautiful locations and equally beautiful "movie stars" that many overlooked in favor of more mainstream films, which was unfortunate for this cinematic, charming escape. Don't make the same mistake. The Tourist is worthy of a look.
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Personally I also liked the story of the obsessive detective (Paul Bettany) investigating a multi million financial fraud. His only lead, the beautiful Elise (Jolie), leads him on a wild goose chase, cottoning on to a hapless American maths teacher on a holiday (Depp). While there are a few fun semi-action scenes on canals and rooftops of the venerable city, this is style over action all the way. Jolie is impossibly glamourous in a way that reminds of Sophia Loren (though she doesn't come anywhere near equaling that grand dame of Hollywood glamour). With the slovenly school teacher Johnny Depp plays another one of those odd characters he does so well. Steven Berkoff is perfect as villain of the piece. Paul Bettany has the dogged investigator down to a tee, and my only regret is that there is not more of Timothy Dalton who plays his superior. His appearance amounts to no more than a couple of short cameos.
The story takes its time developing, but it is well written (Julian Fellowes who also penned Downton Abbey and Gosford Park is one of the screenwriters), and with the beautiful heroine and the stunning filming locations it works well enough. You have plenty time to enjoy all the beauty. There are a few mildly comedic moments involving Depp's character being out of his element, at one time scrambling across the roofs of Venice in his pyjamas. Between the style and the glamour and the occasional moments of levity, this is reminiscent of the heist films and crime capers from the 60s. And that's not a bad thing. What you get here is a perfect bit of fluffy escapism with a story that works and is easy to follow. Sit back and escape to the magic of Venice for an evening.
The DVD has English subtitles for those who need them and also included are various extras:
- Bringing Glamour Back
- Canal Chats: Interviews (with cast and crew)
- Travelling the Canals of Venice
- Action in Venice
- The Gala
- Interview with the Director
- Director's Commentary
The movie itself is brilliant. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp really nail this movie. It has action, intrigue, humour and much more. The quality of the blu ray is excellent. The soundtrack composed by James Newton Howard certainly adds vitality and class to the movie.
up to the end.