Thursday, December 9, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: "The Tourist"

Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from seeing an advance screening of "The Tourist" with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.  Can this movie really be anything but great with this type of co-star pairing?  Let's read what Liz thinks...

I knew "The Tourist" would be good (you can never go wrong with Angelina or Johnny, and when you put them together in a movie there's so much star power there that you may actually need sunglasses), but it surprised me by pulling out a twist at the end. I then went over the entire movie in my mind and tried to figure out what clues I missed, but I may have to see again in the theater or on DVD to fully put my mind at ease.

Elise (Angelina Jolie, "Salt") is going to Venice to reunite with a former boyfriend, Alexander, who is also a con-man, and he sends her very specific instructions: take the 8:22 train to Italy, and find someone with my height and build to befriend, so that the authorities think he's me. She chooses Frank (Johnny Depp, "Alice in Wonderland"), an American community college teacher from Wisconsin, but they part ways after they leave the train. The U.S. authorities, led by Inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany, "Legion") have already figured out Frank is not Alexander, but unfortunately the hitmen who are out for Alexander have not. Frank soon finds himself running for his life through the winding streets of Venice, until Elise finds him and tries to make sure he gets safely home.

This movie took a long time to finally reveal all of its cards, and when the twist ending happened, I was surprised because I hadn't seen it coming. We also don't find out until later in the movie that Elise is a British intelligence agent, although one can surely surmise that she is an agent of some sort (or plays a hand in something more sinister) by the way that she's being watched by the U.S. authorities. Johnny Depp's character is naive yet charming, although at the end we find out why he acts so naive, and its an interesting character for him to play; he usually plays more bizarre characters, such as Captain Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series or, more recently, the Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland."

Yes, see this movie. The scenery is gorgeous and so are Angelina Jolie's outfits (I want all of them!). Depp and Jolie play their parts very well, and the ending, like I said, was a bit of a shocker to me, as I hadn't figured it out (though maybe I would have if I thought about it more). Bettany is good in his role as well, as the aggrieved intelligence officer whose work is sometimes not taken seriously, and he is intent on finding Alexander in Italy. If I don't get to see this film again in the theater, I will definitely see it on DVD.

"The Tourist" will be in theaters on December 10th.

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Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films

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