Trying to decide which movie to see in mid-winter is often like trying to decide which shot you want the doctor to give you first. The selection is often a lose-lose. Over my birthday weekend, Lynette and I decided to go to the movies…but we had to decide what to see. There were plenty of mediocre candidates and many that we outright did NOT want to see, but there wasn't anything jumping at us. Finally we decided to see The Tourist. The trailer was pretty fun and we generally enjoy Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, so we figured it would be a decent choice.
The movie started out intriguingly enough with the police tailing Angelina's character and (as the trailer points out) trying to have her lead them to some mysterious man. Apparently the man has had millions of dollars in plastic surgery so no one knows what he looks like. He communicates with Angelina and gives her instructions to find a decoy and help throw the police off the trail.
The movie then becomes an adventure of comic mistaken identity as Johnny Depp is pitted against angry international mobsters, corrupt policemen and Interpol agents led by Scotland Yard.
Johnny Depp did a stellar job pulling off the confused humor required by the outrageous situations he found himself in. Subtle nuances to the writing and direction led to a number of smaller jokes that made me chuckle at times (like the fact that he tried to be "international" by constantly speaking Spanish to the locals….in Italy).
There were a number of interesting twists and turns as each of the parties hunting the real criminal grabbed Depp from one another. As the movie progressed it became more and more apparent that there were layers of duplicity running through many of the organizations chasing him. Some of the most major twists came in the last half of the movie and were fairly surprising (while I predicted/guessed one of the twists, one of the others legitimately caught me off guard).
This isn't some Hitchcockian suspense-mystery film with layers upon layers, nor is it some madcap comedy with adventure thrown in for good measure. Rather, this is a good balance between comedy and adventure with plenty of romantic tension in the mix (part of Jolie's job in convincing the police/gangsters is to make them believe that Depp's character is who she says he is which means she's supposed to be in love with him…naturally that leads to some confused emotions on her part).
Overall this was a very fun film and I was much more entertained by it than I expected to be. I thought it would be adequate but as it turns out, it is actually really pretty good. So, if you're caught in the doldrums of January/February wondering what to go see…take a chance on The Tourist and let me know what you think. :)
3.5 out of 5 stars