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Jackie K. Cooper

Jackie K. Cooper

Posted: December 14, 2010 11:03 AM

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie star in the new comedy thriller The Tourist. It is a light-hearted romp of a film that has a few missing plot points but when the view is this nice who cares. The chemistry between the two stars is strong and the script seems to be a blend of Hitchcock and Stanley Donen so the overall effect is pleasurable.

Jolie plays Elise Ward, a woman of mystery who is being followed by Scotland Yard. The head of the unit assigned the case is John Acheson (Paul Bettany). He is following Elise in hopes she will lead him to Alexander Pierce, a man who robbed a gangster of many millions.

To elude the police Elise gets on a train and makes the acquaintance of Frank Tupelo (Depp), an American school teacher. He is immediately smitten with Elise but finds that being around her places his life in jeopardy. He hopes to see the sights of Europe but Elise's presence seems to make it more likely he will end up as one more death in Venice.

Jolie is a presence. She impacts any film she is in just by standing still and breathing. As Elise she keeps her karate chops to herself and stays serene when she is being shot at. Depp's Frank is the nervous one, full of twitches and sighs. Still Frank is persistent in his pursuit of Elise and never wavers in his commitment to her. Jolie's Elise acts as if she expects nothing less from him.

Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who also co-wrote the screenplay, seems to be searching for a cross between the "innocent man in jeopardy" movies of Alfred Hitchcock and the romantic thrillers of Stanley Donen. In fact in tone and style this movie is a lot like Charade with Depp playing the Audrey Hepburn role and Jolie as Cary Grant.

The film is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.

The Tourist is not one of the top ten movies of the year. It doesn't seem to aspire that high. It is just a pleasant romp through the canals of Venice with Depp being his shaggy, straggly self while Jolie poses and preens at every turn. With any two lesser actors that would not be nearly enough, but with these two it somehow all seems to work.

I scored The Tourist a well visited 6 out of 10.