The Tourist (2012) Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. With Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton and Steven Berkoff.
In life looks aren’t everything, however in ‘The Tourist’, they count for an awful lot. Kicked to death by critics (currently 20% on the tomato-ometer) but still a box office success with a worldwide gross of $278m, it would seem this is a film that gets by quite happily on aesthetics alone. Is there more to it than that though? Yes and no. One thing that is for sure is that writer/director von Donnersmarck’s intentions are clear. This is a film that isn’t trying too hard to be Bond, Bourne or Salt, but has it’s gaze fixed firmly on the old school knockabout charm of the mega-star Hollywood vehicle of yesteryear, and in that capacity it comes away with some credit.
The distinct absence of high-tempo action, or laugh out loud gags might lead to some confusion over what exactly it is the film is trying to achieve, but there’s a wry undertone of humour that channelled through the hypnotic presence of Angelina Jolie, and the dashing sight of Johnny Depp is hard to deny. The secret agent plot line is faintly interesting and for the most part, the likes of Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton in supporting roles are there to merely fill the gaps, but with so much star quality in attendance through Jolie and Depp, there is something altogether irresistible about seeing them share the screen when framed so beautifully against the stunning Venetian backdrop. I’m guessing this is the selling point the films financial backers were hoping would prove to pay dividends. It does. 3/5