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‘The Tourist’: Confused about itself

By Staff | Dec 28, 2010

Am I too soft on a general interest mainstream flick?

Let’s lay the stars, filmmakers and concept on the table.

Banking on Angelina Jolie and Johnny Deep, “The Tourist” has been receiving mostly so-so or mediocre responses. However, the viewers –especially females — have handed it, at least, a “B.”

Bland title true, but “The Tourist” spins and adapts trademark morsels from over the top entertaining films like the adult spy/caper franchises, such as the “Oceans 11,” “Mission Impossible,” James Bond and a gender reversal straight from a ’70s comedy/adventure, “Foul Play.”

Goldie Hawn played a naive librarian caught into an assassination scene involving a midget, the pope and Chevy Chase’s analytic gumshoe.

“Tourist” reverses the gender roles, placing a broken hearted, ordinary mathematics professor (Johnny Deep) around the finger of a ravishing and ravenous possible double agent (Angelina Jolie).

A “note” orders her to select a man on the same train for Venice as she who possesses superficial physical qualities for duty as a decoy.

The coy portions of the flick relate to romance and comedy; the intrigue responds, aiming at a continual bulls eye.

Here’s the pivotal issue — I think the intrigue should have been the secondary theme and the comedic romance the main theme. Those critics or viewers who have dissatisfaction would have found it fresh, not partially rotten.

Frankly (pun intended as Deep’s character has the name), the filmmakers weren’t comfortable with Jolie as the agent of expertise and Depp as the beard scratching foil. Which is why the director actually states in an interview — this is a comedy.

Laughs, smiles and belly laughs excluded, the viewer should have been able to clearly determine the intent. Instead, the story stays in a middle of the road state, unwilling to let go of the ‘possibility’ this is serious intrigue.


Contact Tony at trutherford@graffitiwv.com