The Tourist is set in the beautiful city of Venice, and ropes in plenty of star power (Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie) for this action thriller. Sadly, no amount of pretty can save the movie’s sloppy dialogue, stilted characters and illogical plot.

The film opened to a dismal US$17 million (S$22 million) in the United States and according to Los Angeles Times, its poor showing left Sony Pictures to count on the international market in Asia to cover the cost of the US$100 million (S$129.3 million) film.

Tourist poster

It’s a little hard to believe especially when it’s helmed by 3 Oscar winners including director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The Tourist is his second feature film after The Lives of Others and was written in collaboration with Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) and Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park).

A remake of the 2005 French film, Anthony Zimmer, The Tourist portrays Elise Clifton-Ward (Angliena Jolie), a stunning and beautiful women set to meet her lost lover, Alexander Pearce. But Pearce, who supposedly has had extensive plastic surgery, and is wanted in 14 countries for embezzling billions of dollars from a mobster, of which 744 million belongs to the government.


To evade the police, she seduces unsuspecting tourist, Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp) when they meet on the train to mislead the authorities into believing that he is Pearce.

In typical spy movie fashion (see Knight and Day), Elise unknowingly develops feelings for Frank along the way and the 2 become entangled in a whirlwind romance and adventure.

The plot is unbelievably bland and the story wayward as Elise struggles to find her identity throughout the show, unsure if she is in love with Frank or Alexander – as if this suspense movie needed a reminder of Eat, Pray, Love.

Unfortunately, even Depp and Jolie’s stunning good looks and charm aren’t able to save the movie especially when they have zero chemistry in the acting department.


In fact, Jolie is so caught up with looking seductive and mysterious, she forgot to inject personality into her character. She speaks with no inflection and to top it off, UrbanWire was disappointed to find that the Tomb Raider star displayed none of her martial prowess in this film.

Depp also seems utterly bored with his role as an ordinary American math teacher and is definitely more comfortable with portraying eccentric characters like the highly disturbed Sweeney Todd or out-of-the-world Jack Sparrow.


Kisses fly like bullets and we chuckled a little watching Depp run with flailing arms, Jack Sparrow style, across the rooftops of Venice. But action-wise, that’s the best you’re going to get aside from The Tourist’s not-very-thrilling-either speedboat chases.

The movie also comes with a large twist at the end but the audience will probably have given up by then – it’s contrived and ridiculous.

The film has also been nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, while Jolie and Depp received nominations for Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Comedy or Musical – the announcement had a roomful of reporters and publicists burst into laughter.

This is a movie you want to watch only if you’re a hardcore fan of Depp or Jolie or considering a vacation in Venice.

Movie: The Tourist

Duration: 103 minutes
Language: English
Rating: PG (Some Violence)
Genre: Thriller, Drama

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Cast: Angliena Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany