ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

001575
Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Turistas (2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: John Stockwell

Starring:
Josh Duhamel/Alex
Melissa George/Pru
Beau Garrett/Amy
Olivia Wilde/Bea
PLOT-CRUNCH
A group of zero personality dudes/ettes find themselves stranded in Brazil and having to deal with a testy "black market organ ring" that badly wants their innards. Nothing wrong with that! NOTE TO SELF: Stick to Cancun.
THE LOWDOWN
You ever get sloshed, pick up a broad, gone to her home and shag her silly? And as you were doing the deed, you ever recognize particular moments that you enjoyed more than others? Lastly...after hitting your peak and running out of there with a sandwich and the gal’s purse; looking back, you ever realize that absolutely nothing stood out from the quickie-romp you just performed? Yes? No? Need more time to think about that one? Fair enough. Well... all this drivel was vomited on the page just for me to say: I felt the same way coming out of TURISTAS.

It all began on the right diddle though as TURISTAS' situation was swiftly/engagingly established to then clock forward at an even pace. Sure the flick stretched out some of its more mundane scenes a tad too much for my liking (How long to I have to gawk at kids partying, I get it, they’re having a good time, lets move on!) but I didn’t get too hurt in the process. The plot then proceeded to keep to its smooth flow until it’s more action oriented last block finally kicked in. And that’s where I finally sat up in my seat and paid full attention. Props to the filmmakers for orchestrating one of the more innovative chase/stalk sequence in recent genre history by setting it within under water tunnels. That ordeal alone was worth me having tackled the film. I was rocked hard when it came to two of the film's kills as well. One had to do with a girl falling off a cliff (yowzer...you'll see) and the other put out a loco mofo, a scalpel and some poor chick’s liver. The latter (although out of place in a film of this ilk, more on that later) made me wince like Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington getting some “Sean Connery” loving from Mike Tyson. OUCH!

As I walked out the theatre though those scenes quickly faded away from my minute memory the moment I saw some hot chick walking by sporting sleek ass fitting pants (nice pants, nicer ass). Why is that? WHY I SAID? Easy. Turistas spread its butter too thin. Its high “hero”count played against it as nobody was defined enough for me to truly give a damn, hence involvement in the whole was decreased. Didn’t help matters much that some characters got on my nerves (yeah Flynn I mean you) and that the gang was way too naive (i.e. dumb) taking into account the events they had gone through thus far. After what went down in the first 20 minutes, I would’ve gone home riding a mule instead of gladly strolling into the woods with a stranger for 10 hours to reach a creepy house. COME ON GUYS! This is planet earth, its filled with evil, crazy and shitty people! Why so much trust?

Things were equally uneven when the shite hit the shan. Sadly the two kills I already mentioned aside, most of the human laundry was far from memorable and the fact that lots of the action was communicated in the dark with some shaky cam stuff going on made things even worse. I had to fight to see what was going on! Not kool! Involvement decreased again. Furthermore, the film was struggling with its identity like a bitch in heat looking for a glass of milk (???). To me it was first and foremost a “survivalist” action/thriller-ish effort along the lines or Deliverance. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough “survival against foes” in the house while the awkward (albeit well done) SAW/HOSTEL like elements felt like they were solely there to sell the trailer or keep with the current “torture trend”. I would’ve loved to have seen the film embrace what it was instead of it wasting screen time trying to keep with "what's hot right now". 

When my trip to Turistas ended, I didn’t feel like I had seen a lousy film. I mean it was well shot for the most part, sported slick underwater cinematography, random tension and a couple of solid rippers. Simultaneously; I forgot all about it way to easily, as if I hadn’t seen a film at all. Make sense? Whatever... you gonna get your passport and Turistas your way to Turistas? It’s up to you! I just work here.

GORE
It got sticky icky baby! I'm yapping a stick in the eye, some machete fun, a busted up head, one grisly "organ removal scene", gun shot wounds and some good old fashioned head bashing with a blunt object.
ACTING
Characterization was weaker then Richard Simmons in the sack but the acting was good. Josh Duhamel (Alex) reacted credibly to the situation and had presence. Melissa George (Pru) spoke good Brazilian, was focused and had a swell behind. Beau Garrett (Amy) had nice cans but didn't have much of a character. I guess she was all right. Olivia Wilde (Bea) was a cutie and looked frightened real good but again...who was she? Desmond Askew (Finn) played a grating duder. I couldn't wait for him to check out! I guess he did a good job! Agles Steib (Kiko) owned as the guide with the most. Very likeable. Actually he was probably the more human/layered of all the characters in this film. Who knew?
T & A
Gorgeous Beau Garrett (Amy) and some hot Brazilian dame showed us their luscious boob-berry muffins and there was all kinds of booty in tiny swimsuits shaking about. The ladies get shirtless buff dudes.
DIRECTING
The flick looked lush as it successfully capitalized on its beautiful setting. The suspense that was there was mostly effective while the usual SAW quick cut stuff was thankfully kept to a minimum (was pretty much present just for the opening). More energy behind the lens would've been appreciated though as I sometimes felt like I was watching a TV movie of the week.
SOUNDTRACK
Brazilian dance/rap songs that I did not groove to (just aint my thing) and a way too seldom score that actually worked when it surfaced.
BOTTOM LINE
TURISTAS smelled like an action/thriller that had horror elements tagged to its ass in the name of boosting ticket sales. The HOSTEL leftovers here just didn't feel organic. Sure the flick was fairly harmless, showcased two groovy kills, some yummy chicks and one heck of an underwater chase but that wasn't enough to pop my wood through my Pop Corn bag.

Maybe with more fleshed out characters, a tighter chain of events and added exciting/tension laced scenarios, it could've had a chance of being a keeper. As-is though; it was too monotonous and light to make the cut. Which means in laymen's terms: I needed MORE ACTION! LESS YAPPING! MORE CONFLICT! LESS WALKING! I say rumble with the DVD if there's nothing else calling your name or don't rumble with it at all; you aint missing much.
BULL'S EYE
The film was of course shot in Brazil.

Director John Stockwell also directed two other "water" movies: Blue Crush and Into the Blue. he also plays a back-packer in this film.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Mistress Of The Week

More
Dusku, Eliza