Sunday, January 16, 2011


Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rufus Sewell

"The perfect trip. The perfect trap."

Cinema 5, Trinoma

The film opens with a surveillance team trailing the alluring Elise Ward (Angelina Jolie) in hopes of finding Alexander Pierce. The elusive 'thief' is being pursued for stealing millions of money from a ruthless gangster named Reginald Shaw. Along comes Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp) an ordinary American tourist sitting in a train on his way to Venice. He crosses path with Elise who "tags" hims as Alexander Pierce. The hapless tourist soon finds himself being caught in vicarious situations which certainly ruin his Italian vacation. Or does it?

As we are brought along this journey, we try desperately not to be distracted by Angelina Jolie's beauty nor Johnny Depp's innocent like charming ways. Nor do we get enthralled by the sheer magnificence of the location. Instead, we attempt to get lured into the story line.

But slowly we realize the plot is pretty implausible and it doesn't offer any major crisis to ruffle the main characters. Well, nothing they can't truly handle given that they seem to be doing quite fine, together. Only then do we allow ourselves to soak in and bask in the splendid cinematography and the hypnotic pull of the two lead stars.

Depp and Jolie are a terrific screen pair, given plenty of opportunities to show their acting chops in this double twisting story. Undercover or under stress, Jolie is never under dressed, floating in gorgeous gowns from Paris to Venice. While Depp is simply magnetic in his part as the innocent bystander caught in a little game of hide and seek.

This film is certainly quite a far cry from German director Donnersmarck's Best Foreign Language Oscar winning "The Lives of Others". A film I caught at the Cine Europa Film Festival in 2007. It was an intriguing tale of espionage where the East German Secret Police were taping its citizens.

"The Tourist" is an enjoyable escapist fare. It is light and witty with a few twists thrown in and naturally has some nice happy ending. Very Hollywood!

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