Lots of gloss, little substance

On the Screen for December/22/2010 By Alf Cryderman The Tourist Columbia Rating: PG 104 minutes

This is one of those films that all reviewers seem to hate and even the public seems to dislike, although it’s doing okay at the box office.

The Tourist stars Angelina Jolie as a sultry lady watched by the police in Paris. Seems her boyfriend stole billions from some gangster and the police want to find him.

She gets a note from him telling her to take the train to Venice and pick out someone who looks like him to decoy the police. On the train she picks out Johnny Depp, who plays a befuddled math teacher from Wisconsin. Once in Venice they have the Italian police after them, as well as the gangster.

More than one reviewer has mentioned how this would be a great movie if it was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starred Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. While Jolie pulls off a very sexual variation on the glamorous Kelly role (and looks stunning in a series of magnificent gowns) Depp falters in the Grant role and German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (who won an Oscar for best foreign film with The Lives of Others in 2006) is no Hitchcock.

There are some mostly unbelievable plot twists, and The Tourist is too often silly, occasionally even stupid, and is mostly attractive (nice scenes of Venice) gloss, but there’s not enough substance to make it work. It’s a romantic thriller without the thrills and not much romance.

Rating: two deer out of five

Next Week on Video

George Clooney stars in The American, a European style thriller which most North Americans found slow and boring.

Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff