This movie looks like what stars do when they don’t want to pay for a vacation.
This movie looks like what stars do when they don’t want to pay for a vacation. They do a half-assed film in an exotic locale so that everything is paid for by the studio and they can sight-see on their days off. Of course, I can’t fault anyone for that, I once got three weeks in Barcelona to run away from Rick Schroder in the straight to DVD Faces of Terror. So, Kettle Black, Pot is on line one!!
Anyway, you know when two incredibly gorgeous people get involved with some bad loans and then are chased all over a incredibly gorgeous city, you know how awesome that is? I am talking about The Tourist now, not Faces of Terror. I am not even going to bother with the plot details since it was a lifted directly from a better German movie and if you read the Entertainment Weekly article you’ll realize how little effort anyone put into doing this. It was set up and prepped in SEVEN weeks, and then dumped in the hands of director Henkle Von DonnerSmarck (I did not make up that name!) to save the day. He gets a couple of writers (really? The guy who wrote Usual Suspects bothered to take a screen credit for this?) to help out but it looks like scenes were written the day they shot them.
So it seems that no one could decide from one day to the next what they were making here. Romantic thriller – except you remove the thrill part and tone down the romance. Or a Action Comedy Romance – except you put in some gun shots and lame plot twists where the wacky mixups should go. Either way, the German director brings his minimalist sensibility to a movie that should be full of MAXILISLM!!! (is that even a word?) Nothing says nail biting tension than getting away from Russian hitmen by gently tiptoeing across venetian slate roofs in your pajamas. Hilarity ensues? – not even.
Or how about a boat chase sequence where the boats putter at legal speed limit .5 knots while chased on foot by Russians that can’t seem to shoot a boat that is going directly beneath them on a Venetian canal. Could the usher un-grip my knuckles from the armrest, please?
But no one was worried about the plot because this movie was going to be saved by HIGH VOLTAGE STAR POWER!!!! Hooray, nothing to fear! Box office heavy hitters are going to take mundane material and make it… more mundane.
In an effort to be super normal, Depp removes everything remotely human from his character, relaxing his performance down to a tepid bubble of confused longing. His opinion of mid west math teachers must be very low to create a portrayal this underplayed.
Meanwhile, Jolie seems to have prepped for this role by taking runway modeling courses. Every frame of her looks like a really long perfume commercial, or at any moment I expected their shadows would exchange diamond rings and so tag line to say “Isn’t she worth it?” Full frame ‘looks over the shoulder’ and ‘side ways glance’ shots are place holders for where the acting should go.
Or maybe there was acting somewhere and the German guy was just in over his head here. Bedazzled by everything, he is blinded to real moments or how to create tension in the edit room. Instead it is a series of shots that fulfill all the product placements contracts, and show the highlights from Fashion Week in Milan. In fact, the only believable moment Jolie has is when she opens her closet to see her pretty new wardrobe.
The bling porn in this can only mean that the director has never seen a studio movie budget before, and so focuses the camera on stuff and mega star faces while forgetting that there should be a story or something. It is like the guy who just puts up pictures of his new car on his facebook profile.
I hope everyone had a lovely time making this dog, and now get back to work making something that improves upon the silence.
–Dean Haglund, knowing that silence can be improved upon by purchasing a Chill Pak.