Sunday, 12 December 2010

REVIEW: The Tourist

Strangers On a Train. Get it?... OH FUCK YEAH, THIS SHIT JUST GOT GAME.

A film like The Tourist pops up every couple of years or so. The kind of film that is so enamoured with a type of film-making from days gone bye, it doesn't so much pay homage to it as become it. A metamorphosis of the most useless kind. Congratulations you've succeeded in becoming not just a mediocre movie, but a mediocre movie from 1965. Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck I like Hitchcock too, honest I do, but The Tourist is basically all of his worst and none of is best. Apathy toward storyline, vacuous characters masked by star names and exotic locations that to do nothing but serve to temper boredom. Nothing of the inventiveness, the dark sense of humour, the convention-busting. More To Catch A Thief then North By Northwest, and if that's vague its meant as insult. To Catch A thief sucks. I hate that movie.

Its perhaps a vanity project from a director rolling off The Lives Of Others, a movie so mind bogglingly good it earns the right for a a director to do what he wants, but still. You assume their not going to abuse that good faith. I think the main problem with The Tourist is not even the things mentioned above, I mean the storyline is feeble beyond belief, but that the films leads so entirely tank in each other's presence. I guess it was a fair assumption that sticking Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in a room together was a sure bet, but there you go. Depp is just miscast, but Jolie, I'm not convinced will ever have chemistry with anyone until she stops being such an unapproachable presence on film. Its not that she's a bad actress and some of her more dramatic work of late is the best she's ever done, but if she insists on giving Ingmar Bergman performances in popcorn movies, me and her are going to have a problem. She gives you nothing, and she gives Depp nothing and so scenes that are supposed to be playful and fun entirely obtuse and stilted. She looks every inch the 50's movie star for sure, but that's not enough.

Depp, well he appears to be sleepwalking through a poorly written and disposable role, almost too cool to care. I suppose its nice to see him in a film not by Tim Burton? If there's anything like a saving grace its either Paul Bettany or Steven Berkoff. Bettany for playing the cop on Jolie's tale who is the villain apparently, taking an awful, marginalized role and making it occasionally interesting. Bettany continues to be the best actor in exclusively shit movies. Berkoff turns in an interesting character performance as a 2D capitalist gangster villain, again badly written but Berkoff does something with it. Donnersmarck seems more concerned with 69's euro-thriller iconography to bother with anything as trivial as actually making the film enjoyable or coherent, and by the time we get to our supremely lame twist ending, You've checked out, for sake of self-preservation. A bad, lazy, cliched movie. I can't believe this is The Lives Of Others guy.

Rating: 4/10

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