Film & TV

Rewind Review – The Tourist

With nothing else to do on a 2010 December’s day, one couldn’t be criticised if they popped into the cinema and decided on a film that had some eye-candy in, The Tourist. However, such a decision would be regrettable due to what is an excruciatingly abysmal film. The only way to describe The Tourist as a movie and as an experience is that it’s a complete and utter waste of time, space and money.

The Tourist centres on Elise (played by Angelina Jolie), who is being followed by a multitude of European police officers for her connection to her ex-lover, Alexander Pearce, who owes back taxes amounting to £744 million. The only problem is that Pearce has had plastic surgery to alter his appearance and cannot be identified. She is told of Pearce’s travel to Venice through a letter and chooses a man on the train that resembles him in order to deceive the police.

She picks Frank Tupelo (played by Johnny Depp), and from here on the film loses any interest because it becomes pretty evident what the outcome will be. The film is flawed by its celebrity status cast, and acts like a tourist in its own right – lost and bewildered by everything it does. It emphasises the main attractions, but doesn’t accentuate enough intrigue to make us actually care about what is going on.


Jolie is a great actress, but she picks films that only let her stand out. She remains her beautiful self by donning costly dresses and conducting herself smoothly but she can’t bring much else to such a boring role. Watching Depp’s character makes you wonder if he was chosen for the role or if he chose the role for himself.

His appearance in The Tourist looks somewhat bloated and a bit too mundane for the type of characters he usually plays, and even he can’t provide something special to the character he’s given because there isn’t much to work with.

The one thing that The Tourist does well, albeit in excess, is promote the beauty of one of Italy’s most well known cities. Venice acts a character of its own in hosting the main characters as they journey past some exquisite locations including the many palaces, museums and hotels that the city is filled with. Seemingly, because the majority of the scenes emphasise the beauty of the city, the film almost becomes a public tour, so much so that you need only watch The Tourist and you’re there.


The plot throughout the film attempts to divert you away from the truth, and in the end when it finally reveals its big twist, it’s difficult to care because any attempts at misdirection completely backfire. The secret is extremely clear from the outset, and subsequently, the remainder of the film is attempting to deceive you and yet you know exactly what it is trying to hide. Plain and simply put, it is pointlessly ridiculous.

Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s tried to produce a film on a grand scale that had a mysterious plot and was anchored by two of the most famous actors on the planet, but he essentially only managed to generate a tedious, uninteresting story that reduces the credibility of its stars.


Like many viewers, the whole of Hollywood was in pure disbelief when The Tourist was nominated for three Golden Globes. The unfortunate stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp are passengers in this abominable film that lacks any substantial quality. The awkward criticism of the film by Ricky Gervais at the awards ceremony in front of its red-faced stars emphasises just how bad of a film this is as it got singled out for pure violation.

In order to add some clout to my extremely harsh criticism of The Tourist, it must be emphasised the fact that the film was made in just eleven months, and this is undoubtedly reflected in the final product film. As a large-scale production, The Tourist seems uncared for, and like any other piece of work not having enough dedication or love put into it, ended up as a grand failure.


Omar Khodja

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