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December 12, 2010
Review - " The Tourist "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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The Tourist
Directed By: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Timothy

Throw a ton of money, two marquee names, a glam Venice
location and a prime holiday release at a filmmaker whose
Hollywood reach exceeds his grasp, and what do you get?

The mysterious Elise (Jolie), being tracked by Scotland Yard,
hits it off with Frank (Depp), a math teacher from Wisconsin,
during a long train ride to Venice, Italy.

Amazingly, Frank doesn't suspect ulterior motives.

The audience already knows, however, that Elise is the
girlfriend of an international thief who has undergone
extensive plastic surgery. She cozies up to Frank because he
is about the same size and height of her boyfriend - a tactic
designed to throw the authorities off the scent of her fugitive

Soon, Inspector Acheson (Paul Bettany) thinks Frank is the
mysterious Alexander - as does brutal gangster Ivan (Steven
Berkoff), who was taken for billions by the master criminal.

Thus begins an extended chase through Venice. The pursuit
- by boat and, in a scene that sees Depp barefoot and in
pajamas, across a rooftop - is occasionally interrupted by banter between Elise and Frank, who just might be falling in love.

The Tourist isn't bad so much as it is blissfully inconsequential.

Amid the rapidly arriving twists, the cast - including former 007 Timothy Dalton as Acheson's droll boss - seems to have a
grand time.

The manic pace eventually becomes exhausting, though. The Tourist limps to a final plot turn that isn't surprising.

This is a movie that I really wanted to like. The sad thing is that I actually did for a good part of it's running time. Then the
hammer dropped in the third act and I think I must have been dazed for a little while as I did not fully realize it at first. Then
the dawning came and I sat there dumbfounded, hoping that what I was watching unfold was not what it looked like.
There had to be another twist
coming, right? They really
weren't going to do what it
looked like they were doing,
were they? Yes, yes they did.

Still, the actors are as beautiful
as the setting - and the charm
takes a good while to wear off.

All in all, the movie offers a
decent vacation from more
serious fare.

You will have to walk out of this
one which is too bad. Jolie
good naked ... or at least she
used too. She doesn't do much
of that these days