Tag Team Review – The Tourist

…on the 5th day of Castmas the Chrazzas gave to me…

We’re 5 days into the 12 Days of Castmas and it’s about time we had a bit of a rant don’t you think? Everything’s been a bit lovey dovey so far; a great Christmas episode, a cracking 5 things list, some awesome banter with movie-types…

…I think we need to let our hair down and do what we do best: enthusiastically lose our temper over a film that probably (definitely) isn’t worth our breath.

As such, enjoy another classic Tag Team Review, this time for The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

Chris W is in Green and Chris M is in Blue.

I feel it prudent to highlight pre-rant that I fell asleep numerous times during this movie. Usually it would be the case that I would make some clever comment about being overworked and overpaid, but in this case I just wanted it to be clear from the off that it was solely because of the quality of the this nonsense.

Going first I guess it’s my duty to fill you in on what little plot there is – bearing in mind I may well have missed some of the more salient points due to the induced bout of narcolepsy. Jolie is a wooden, pouty (albeit well dressed) woman who is being tailed by the police. She gets instruction (which she burns) from her MIA thieving boyfriend to go get on a train and find some guy that looks relatively similar to him so she can use him to throw the police off thief’s scent.

Depp happens to have an open seat opposite him on the train and seemingly by virtue of this fact alone Jolie picks him. “But how are the police going to follow her?” I hear you cry! Fear not! The police manage to recreate the previously burned note from its ashes because they are super cool like that. Thing is though, Jolie wants them to trail her so I don’t know why she burned the note in the first place.

We then follow the whole movie as Depp follows Jolie around like a lost puppy whilst they continually narrowly evade police capture. Not that I’m really sure what the police would have to arrest them for anyway… There are some other ingredients in the mix; throw in some needless reveals,  some run of the mill gangster bad guys, inexplicable character progression (oh I think I’ve just decided I love you) and countless ridiculous plot twists and it sounds as though you might be on for an at least enjoyable-because-its-ridiculous cinema experience. The Tourist’s major crime is that it somehow makes all of the aforementioned really really boring.

Depp and Jolie themselves are largely to blame. On paper I thought we were going to finally see a straight performance from Depp, but the truth is he’s as ridiculous as ever. J0lie harks back to her early days before she proved she could act (I’m going to use the Changeling as defence here) and there’s so little chemistry between them that Jolie wouldn’t react if she were made of Potassium Iodide and he were Hydrogen Peroxide (SCIENCE!)

To round it all off and make a bad thing worse, the last five minutes serve to undermine the rest of the whole movie – making all of it make absolutely no sense. What makes it even worse (if that’s possible) is that I think this film thinks its ending is somehow clever. It’s not. It’s stupid. Like the rest of it.

Avoid please!

When reviewing movies Chris and I try to steer clear of revealing major plot points or spoilers that could affect your initial viewing of a film as it was intended by the filmmakers that made it. We believe that by sticking to this philosophy- which can be difficult at times- we help to maintain the integrity of cinema and keep films at their purest.

That being said, when I have to sit down and endure a film that is as lazily put together as The Tourist has been, I feel it is my duty to do everything in my power to prevent you from needing to put yourselves through the same thing.

BE WARNED: At the end of this review I WILL REVEAL the ‘twist’ of The Tourist, in the hope that it will render it pointless for you to go and see it for yourselves. I will hide it in white font, because I’m nice that way, but I urge you to read it rather than pay to see this load of crap on the big screen (even if you have an Unlimited card- it’s really that bad).

I’m going to run out of words (which is probably for the best really) so I’ll simply say a few quick things;

  1. It really pissed me off to learn that the showing of The Tourist before the one Katie and I went to had sold out. This tells me that in general star power (Jolie and Depp) is everything because even from the trailers this looked crap.
  2. Related to the above, never has a film been more about window dressing than this for quite some time. Depp is aloof and dancey (a cleaned up Jack Sparrow- LAME!) and Jolie does nothing but stare and hold a pose for the whole movie- it’s offensive how little plot or drive there is in this film. Venice too, is simply an excuse to look at the view.
  3. There are some half decent names in this; Paul Bettany, Rufus Sewell, Timothy Dalton and Steven Berkoff; they are all criminally underused and given scraps of narrative function to feed off. Why bother?
  4. This film seems to work under the assumption that we’ll condone the lead characters’ actions even though they’re The Bad Guys by virtue of the fact that they are the lead characters and as such we like them. As a consequence of this we will automatically hate bureaucracy, The Man and Law Enforcement types in general- the typical Good Guys become The Bad Guys for the purposes of this film. NO. Naughty filmmakers. Depp and Jolie’s characters are bad people. They are motivated by greed and money and do not deserve to escape victorious. Law and order exists for a reason and this movie makes a mockery of the whole damn thing.
  5. The director is called Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. That is a silly name. I know its mean, but I’m in a bad mood so ner!

Do not watch The Tourist. If you do you are wasting your time, advocating Bad Hollywood and probably funding terrorism.

And now, the ending;

So the whole plot is that Jolie is using Depp’s character as a decoy; he is mistaken as some target the police are after for unpaid taxes. In the end it turns out that Depp actually is the man the police have been after all along, he just had loads of cosmetic surgery and concocted this whole ruse to throw the police off the scent- in effect this means the film is a love letter between two characters (Depp and Jolie) who supposedly know miles more than the other people in the film and the audience. Chris M says it was obvious from about 10mins in; I didn’t notice because even by that point in the movie I was already pissed off and trying to take a nap. Also, if that’s the case then how does she know to sit next to him on the train at the beginning? Oh, it’s probably something to do with the book he’s reading. Whatevs.


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