The Tourist (DVD)

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Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie Frolic in Italy - The Tourist

Dec 24, 2010 (Updated Jun 3, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Depp, Jolie, and Bettany.  Entertaining plot.

Cons:Not that suspenseful.

The Bottom Line: Overall I really enjoyed The Tourist, though it isn't exactly what I expected.


I love Johnny Depp and I tend to see all his new movies.  I've been interested in seeing The Tourist since I first saw a trailer.  While the movie is a bit different from what I expected, I really enjoyed it.

In Paris, Elise Ward is being followed by Scotland Yard.  While at a café, she receives a message from Alexander Pearce, a man she had been involved with.  Alexander is wanted by Scotland Yard and that is why they are following her.  Alexander wants her to travel to Venice by train, find a man of the same height and build as him and get Scotland Yard to believe that the other man is Alexander.  

Elise sits by Frank Tupelo, a man on vacation, and spends the train ride talking to him.  Inspector John Acheson is quick to believe that Frank is Alexander.  Unfortunately, a very dangerous man, Reginald Shaw, also believes that Frank is Alexander.  That puts Frank in danger and leads to Elise to sharing some things with Frank.  Acheson remains determined to catch Alexander at any cost.

After watching The Tourist, I discovered that it is a remake of Anthony Zimmer, a French movie from 2005. I haven't heard of that movie, so I have no clue how closely this movie follows it.  I think the plot is interesting and makes for an entertaining movie.  I have seen that some people have issues with the pacing, feeling things move too slowly.  I don't have a problem with the pacing and I really enjoyed the movie.

For the most part, I have seen The Tourist promoted as a thriller.  There are elements of a thriller to the story, though it isn't exactly what I think of as a thriller movie.  There is suspense to a few scenes without making the movie suspenseful overall.  There is a bit of mystery tied to what is going on.  I do think there are a few small surprises to what is going on.  While I find the mystery interesting, it could have been stronger and there could have been a lot more suspense.  The movie is really more of a drama with a few thriller elements.

Some action turns up in a few different scenes of The Tourist.  Frank is involved in most of the action in some way.  Elise does get involved in one or two of the action scenes as well.  There is a very entertaining chase through the canals of Venice with boats at one point.  Violence also turns up a few times, though it isn't overly graphic or extreme.  Shaw is not nice in any way and he doesn't hesitate to use violence.  The action does help to keep things interesting without turning the movie into an action movie. 

Every so often, a bit of humor creeps into The Tourist.  The humor is mostly provided by Frank and the way he reacts to the rather odd things he is dealing with.  He is shocked by several things, but he still manages to deal fairly well with what is going on.  The moments of humor do help to lighten the mood a bit.  Even with the moments of humor, this isn't a comedy.  For whatever reason, the movie has been nominated in the comedy/musical category of the Golden Globes.  I don't think there is enough humor to justify that.  The humor does help to make things more entertaining.  Most of the movie takes place around Venice.  The canals are used more than once.  The scenery in the movie does look beautiful.

It becomes clear early in The Tourist that Elise has been involved with Alexander.  Frank has a similar build, so Elise chooses to spend some time with him.  She is trying to convince Scotland Yard that Frank is Alexander after having plastic surgery to change his appearance.  Elise receives attention just about everywhere, and it isn't surprising that Frank is immediately attracted to her.  There is some sexual tension between them, but they don't act on it.  There isn't any nudity or any sex scenes in the movie, something that might disappoint some viewers.  The movie is rated PG-13 and it really isn't one that is child friendly.

There are only three main characters in The Tourist with a few more who turn up once or twice.  Elise Ward is clearly aware that Scotland Yard is following her.  She is fully capable of taking care of herself and dealing with the various situations she is in.  It isn't said for sure, but it looks like Elise lives a comfortable life.  She looks refined and dignified no matter what she is doing.  Angelina Jolie does a very good job with the part.

Frank Tupelo is a tourist on his way to Venice when Elise pulls him into an adventure.  He doesn't fully understand what is going on, though he manages to find a way to deal with most everything that comes up.  Not as much is shared about him, but he does end up being an entertaining and interesting character.  Johnny Depp does very well with the part.  Alexander is mentioned several times over the course of the movie without being seen.  He is the reason everything is happening.

Inspector Acheson is in charge of the investigation looking for Alexander.  Acheson has been working on the case for several years and he is very determined to find Alexander, no matter what he has to do.  Acheson does make some questionable decisions.  Paul Bettany does fine with the part.  Timothy Dalton is in a few short scenes as Chief Inspector Jones, Acheson's boss at Scotland Yard.  Shaw is a criminal with a reason to want to find Alexander.  Shaw is very cold and doesn't have a problem using violence to get things accomplished.  Steven Berkoff is fine in the part.

Main Cast

Steven Berkoff - Shaw
Paul Bettany - Inspector Acheson
Timothy Dalton - Chief Inspector Jones
Johnny Depp - Frank Tupelo
Angelina Jolie - Elise Ward

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck - Director

The Tourist isn't exactly what I expected based on the trailers, but it is a good, entertaining movie.  I think it is worth seeing, especially for fans of the cast.

*This review was originally posted after I saw the movie in the theater.  It is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Johnny Depp Related Reviews
Alice in Wonderland ~ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ~ Chocolat ~ From Hell ~ The Ninth Gate ~ Once Upon a Time in Mexico ~ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl ~ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ~ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ~ Public Enemies ~ Secret Window ~ Sleepy Hollow ~ Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street ~ Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Deluxe Edition) Soundtrack ~ Tim Burton's Corpse Bride ~


Recommend this product? Yes


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