The StoryA gorgeous mannequin is brought to life and is placed at the center of a story involving the theft of billions of dollars. That's not the official synopsis but it's close to what unfolds onscreen in The Tourist.
Angelina Jolie plays Elise Ward, the glamorous girlfriend of a fugitive who's taken billions of dollars from a Russian mobster (actually, he's meant to be British but for some reason he looks and acts like Hollywood's version of a Russian mobster). Said British baddie wants his money back, so he and his Russian gang (they actually are meant to be Russian...go figure) try to track down the missing embezzler by keeping a watch on Elise. Not that that's a bad gig for the thugs as, like I've now mentioned twice already, she's gorgeous. And director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck never lets us forget that as the film is filled with close-ups of Jolie's face mixed with occasional butt shots. Seriously. Face and butt shots.
What follows is snowballing silliness. Elise sets up Frank to take the fall for Alexander because no one has a picture of Alexander's face. Then she doesn't really want Frank the math teacher to get hurt so she backtracks and helps him out. But, she's still in love with Alexander and now the British/Russian villains are closing in and the police are always no more than a stone's throw away from the action. What's a girl to do? Well, if audiences are paying any attention at all to anything other than Jolie's face in close-up, they'll have figured out the answer a quarter of the way in and will spend the rest of The Tourist just watching the pretty scenery go by and laughing at the outlandish action scenes.
The Bottom LineDepp's normally brilliant in anything he tackles, but The Tourist gets away from him early on. Try as he might, Depp is handcuffed by the script and is never able to make much out of Frank. He's also not able to spark an onscreen connection with Jolie. Granted, that is most likely due to the fact Jolie's been directed to - or has simply chosen to herself - remain completely emotionless throughout the film. It's a Stepford Wife-ish performance that's off-putting, and there's no real explanation as to why it's handled this way.
The Tourist is beautiful to behold, and I'm not just talking about Jolie's face now. Paris and Venice are on display in all their glory, and their beauty is basically all there is about The Tourist to enjoy.
The Tourist was directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and is rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.
Theatrical Release: December 10, 2010 GRADE: D+