Friday, December 10, 2010

Movie Review: The Tourist

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This week's movie selection is The Tourist staring Johnny Depp and Angelia Jolie. These two are some of the most beautiful people in the world. Director and writer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck hoped that by putting these two in a film together they would produce a beautiful offspring in this spy action thriller intrigue film. Maybe if you put in the beautiful mind coming from Paul Bettany and add the gravitas of a former actor with a license to kill Timothy Dalton you'd have one kick butt movie. Well, sort of.

The action picks up in one of the most beautiful cities in the world: Paris, France. Elise Ward (Jolie) is under surveillance by the French police under the direction of British Financial Crimes division's Inspector John Acheson (Bettany) who reports to Chief Inspector Jones (Dalton). Ward is not the mark, Alexander Pearce is. He has money they are trying to get back. She is the link that they need to get to Pearce. They trail her from Paris to Venice where along the way she meets Frank Tupelo (Depp), a math teacher, on the train. Elise befriends Frank and as a result the police confuse him for the real target as does a Russian mobster. Pearce stole money from the mobster and he too wants it back. Things get complicated when there are sparks between Elise and Frank, but are they real or fake?

Jolie looks absolutely stunning throughout the entire movie. She had a high class wardrobe with designer ware, shoes, jewelry, make-up and hair. The camera loves it and so do we. For a spy movie, this was the lady who played Lara Croft, Mrs Smith and Evelyn Salt so who could be jumping around and kicking the opponents butt better than her, right? Not in this film. She didn't get a single sweat stain on any piece of clothing. The most action was, hmmmm...what was it? She engaged in what was a waltz but then again she didn't dance the whole song. Oh, wait, it was when she picked a set of handcuffs? NO, it was when she was in a boat and pushed it to full throttle! You get the idea. Not much in the way of butt kicking! Speaking of butt, I don't think von Donnersmarck missed a single opportunity to focus on Ms Jolie's curvaceous backside as she either turned or walked away from the camera. That's not a complaint mind you, just an observation.

For Depp, he didn't have the chance to show off for the camera the same way that Ms Jolie did. Frank was from Wisconsin and pulled out a full set of men's pajamas and at one point was running around the tiled roof tops of Venice trying to get away from the Russian thugs in said pajamas. It was good to see him act without guyliner or pancake makeup. Although there were a couple of times where he said lines and smiled that reminded me of Captain Jack. In this movie he provided the action on screen that we didn't get from Jolie.

The story moved at a fair pace over the 102 minute running time, but it never got extremely tight. Showing off Paris and Venice were nice eye candy. We were left wanting for the relationship to get a bit more heated and steamy as well as the action to really get cranked up. At no time was I biting my nails with either of the protagonists getting into a tough spot that looked completely hopeless without a miracle intervention of some sort. With the meh level of action and romance, the movie has a PG-13 rating for violence and brief strong language. If they could have gotten the action and romance up to the beauty level of the stars, it would have been a much better movie.

Going back to Ms Jolie's backside for a moment. I think it would make a funny video if when the movie is released to Blu-ray and DVD someone made a single video of all the times they showed off her curves. Put to the right music it just might be the right recipe for a viral video. I just might have a project to put on my calendar come the late spring/early summer time frame next year!

The Movie Monkey

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