(USA/France, 103 min)
Dir: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Writ: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie, Julian Fellowes
Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Rufus Sewell.
Ah, Italy. Once again, it graces the screen with beautiful scenery and spectacular panoramas. This time, however, when Angelina Jolie visits Venice, Italy gets the boot. The European cityscape just doesn’t offer as good a view as Angelina does. The mega-star has never looked better, especially with how fully she embraces the Italian-sexiness that several other actresses celebrated onscreen in 2010, notably Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love and Tilda Swinton in I am Love. It’s only too bad, though, that while Jolie provides a whirlwind adventure, everyone else onboard The Tourist is about as much fun as a trip to the Vatican.
The Tourist, though, is a delightfully convoluted caper. True, one would expect something a little more substantial from a script by three Oscar winners, but as escapist fare, the film does all right. The adventure begins when a team of investigators, led Inspector John Acheson of Scotland Yard (Paul Bettany), trails Jolie’s Elise Ward through the streets of Paris. Acheson et al are on a manhunt for Alexander Pierce, a financial crook who owes the UK roughly three-quarters of a billion pounds in back taxes. Elise is their only lead on Pierce, and she gives them the slip by making it from her sidewalk café to the Gare du Lyon, where she hops a train for Venice. Onboard, she cosies up to Frank, an unsuspecting American tourist played by Johnny Depp. Naturally, Acheson manages to get some of his men onto to train, and they quickly assume that Elise is in the midst of a rendezvous with Pierce.