003797Reviews & Counting
The Tourist
BLU-RAY disk
03.31.2011 By: J.A. Hamilton
The Tourist order download
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Johnny Depp
Angelina Jolie
Paul Bettany


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When a sexy chick with an air of mystery about her approaches him on a train, Frank, an American tourist on his way to Venice for a vacation, starts to count himself lucky indeed. But when Frank is suddenly being followed by Police and pursued by Russian hit men who all believe heís someone else, Frankís vacation quickly becomes a fight for his life.
I distinctly remember when this flick came out and thinking to myself, ďman, that one came out of nowhere didnít it?Ē There wasnít much buzz about the film prior to its release (and if there was, it must not have been all that grand else Iíd have noticed) but thatís not enough for me to pawn a film off as the same thing happened with TAKEN and look what that turned out to be. Of course TAKEN had a gripping trailer to back it up and this flickís trailer came off like a low key bond-esque film with lots of pretty people and luscious locals to look at. Beyond that, every review I read for this flick was negative, critics tore this one apart (not that this is anything new as most critics seem to live for just that reason lately) and when you combine all three of those points, the idea of watching this flick didnít strike me as enticing. That said, I do tend to disagree with critics quite a bit and this is no exception. THE TOURIST was far from perfect but it was a good romp in the streets nonetheless.

First off, I found myself thinking, ďhow in the hell can you go wrong with this cast setup?Ē I donít mind Jolie per say but one thing about this flick that did annoy me was how everyone was oohing and ahhing over her like sheís playmate of the decade. Letís be real here, Jolie looks great for her age, no question there but sheís far from the ďit girlĒ nowadays. Aside from that, she handled herself well and I dug her character quite a bit. Johnny Depp has been so adamant in his portrayal as Jack Sparrow I feel that most people donít see him as anyone but the quirky captain. I personally loved him in SECRET WINDOW and THE NINETH GATE; I also love him as Jack Sparrow. Here, as a tourist, he rocked as far as Iím concerned, especially in light of how it all comes together. Iím also a fan of Paul Bettany, Rufus Sewell and it was nice to see Timothy Dalton again as well. Cast-wise this flick was smoking hot.

SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT! There, I think I said it enough times to catch everyoneís eye. I canít in good faith submit a review of this film without talking a bit about what Iím assuming pissed most people off about this little caper so skip this paragraph if you donít want anything ruined. About five to ten minutes into the film, when Jolie was reading the letter, I knew how this was all going to play out. I called it to my girlfriend, secretly hoping I was wrong but just as sure I wasnít. When the two of them had dinner and she expressed her somewhat broken love affair to Depp I just knew it was him and subtle hint after subtle hint just reconfirmed my suspicions along the way. The good news is, despite knowing what I knew I still had nothing but fun with the journey so thatís gotta count for something.

THE TOURIST is a glamorous trek through the riveting streets of Venice with foot chases, boat chases, cops, thieves, Russian thugs (Steven Berkoff is the man yo!) mixed with some laughs, some romance and some cloak and dagger stealth moves to keep the pace strong. Sure, on the other hand, if youíve seen as many movies as I have youíll no doubt put two and two together just as quickly as I did. So yes, in the end, THE TOURIST is a touch predictable but be that as it may, I still dug the ending and came out a happy camper.
Commentary: Director Florian Henckel Van Donnersmarck (wow, he must have had fun with that name as a kid) leads us through the most boring, connect the dots, all business commentary ever. Forget Advil, this will put you to sleep in no time.

Canal Chats: This is a quick look at how the director became such a great boat driver as he practiced every day going up and down the canals after shooting.

A Gala Affair: This opens up the Gala scene which I have to say was beautiful and rich with detail and good looking people dressed to the nines.

Action in Venice: Here we get a closer look at the night time boat chase on the canal. I loved this scene, particularly because the cop was turning him over to the bad guys for money knowing he wasnít the dude they were looking for.

Bringing Glamour Back: Here the cast and crew boast about how seductive, glamorous and sophisticated this thriller turned out to be. I can dig it.

Tourist Destination: Venice: This one plays out like a three minute vacation commercial for Venice Italy. Iím sold.

Alternate Animated Title Sequence: This alternate opening plays out like most Bond films that begin with a song and some cool shit going on in the background, the cool shit his here but thereís no song to go with it.

Outtake Reel: Hmmm, well, this is a minute and a half long and other than a couple clips of the film this consists of Jolie, Depp and Bettany sitting beside one another answering questions like an interview.

Previews: There are a handful of trailers here as well but nothing of note.
Opinions may and no doubt will differ here but thatís where I landed and hope that people can see past the negative reviews and give this black sheep a chance. Iíve seen better and Iíve seen much worse but hereís the real skinny; this isnít a remake, sequel, or weak reimagining of old fairy tale, so that in itself should inspire a glass half full approach.
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10:30AM on 03/31/2011
I agree. While this movie isnt genius, its still entertaining and Depp speaking spanish instead of Italian had me dying.
I agree. While this movie isnt genius, its still entertaining and Depp speaking spanish instead of Italian had me dying.
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8:55AM on 03/31/2011
I find the movie rather dull. With two main leads, Depp & Jolie, and dynamite supporting casts, the movie should be better than this but it's still dull.
I find the movie rather dull. With two main leads, Depp & Jolie, and dynamite supporting casts, the movie should be better than this but it's still dull.
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