Elise Ward (Angelina Jolie, Salt) is under INTERPOL’s constant surveillance. Her lover, Alexander Pierce, is a wanted man. Once the accountant for a notorious gangster, Pierce embezzled $2.3 billion and has been in hiding ever since. While INTERPOL is seeking him out to collect the taxes on the stolen cash, the gangsters are after him for revenge. With so many people looking for him, Alexander is rumored to have changed his face. Because nobody knows what Alexander now looks like, Elise can’t go anywhere without being shadowed. Every person she talks to is under suspicion.
Two years ago Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland) lost his wife in a car accident. Now, he is an average American tourist visiting Europe. Because Frank’s body and build resemble that of Alexander’s, Elise chooses to be seen with him in public in the hopes of sending her onlookers after the wrong man, getting away from her “shadows” just long enough to meet up with her lover and escape for good. What Frank automatically mistakes as being romantic chemistry, is nothing more than a set-up.
The Tourist has a lot working against it. For starters, within the first ten minutes you are already clued off as to how it is going end. Once you figure that out, the remainder of the movie simply distracts you, constantly make you mentally put the pieces of the puzzle together. Because your initial hunch is correct, every puzzle piece is a match.
Despite being strong actors, Depp and Jolie don’t possess any on-screen chemistry. There is little rationale as to why this bumbling American would intentionally place himself in harm’s way for a mysterious, fickle British woman that he met just one day earlier. Just as their characters suffer from a lack of identity, so does The Tourist‘s tone. For every twenty minutes of slow, drawn-out self-indulgent romance there are five minutes of bland, uneventful action. Considering what the movie is asking you to go with, there aren’t enough laughs and light moments to keep you entertained. The Tourist is either top-heavy with boring romantic moments or bogged down with low-speed boat chases.
If you are tempted to see The Tourist this weekend, don’t. Put that cash aside and save it for some of the more promising upcoming titles – Tron: Legacy, Black Swan, The Fighter, True Grit.
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures