The Johnny Depp Archive

The Tourist (2010)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Steven Berkoff, Timothy Dalton, Rufus Sewell, Christian De Sica

Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Rating: 1 2 3 and a half

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in The Tourist

Did I slip on a patch of ice, crack my head and wake up in the 1960s?

With its ludicrous plot, exquisite styling, glamorous locations and even more glamorous leading lady, this delightfully old fashioned comic crime caper is more like a throwback to the days of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn than a thriller for the new Millennium.

Angelina Jolie is Elise Ward, the girlfriend of notorious thief Alexander Pearce, currently the target of an eight million pound sting operation conducted by an unnamed British agency. To throw her undercover pursuers off the scent, en route to Venice Elise picks up a bumbling American tourist, Frank (Johnny Depp) in the hope that the agency will believe him to be Alex, post twenty million dollars worth of plastic surgery. The agency aren't fooled, but more gullible is evil gangster Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff), from whom Pearce stole two billion dollars. (There are a lot of big numbers thrown around in this film.)

Timothy Dalton - adding some James Bond appeal to The Tourist

Soon hapless maths teacher Frank finds himself pursued across the rooftops and through the waterways of Italy's most picturesque city (which, far from seeming Don't Look Now sinister, has never looked more beautiful or benign). And then there's a twist, but to be honest, if you haven't guessed it within half an hour then you must be more stupid than…. hmm, all the characters in this film.

Throw in some bald Russian henchmen, a few cheesy stunts and the odd corny one liner (not to mention appearances by Steven Berkoff and Timothy Dalton) and we've got ourselves 1980s James Bond-lite meets classic romantic romp.

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in The Tourist

And yet, despite all that (and an intrusive soundtrack and unconvincing, often leaden script) The Tourist still manages to be hugely enjoyable film, due in no small part to charismatic performances from Jolie, Depp and the ever-reliable Paul Bettany as the agent on their heels.

Angelina Jolie is unbelievably beautiful in this film, so radiant she doesn't quite seem real – small wonder poor Frank seems almost afraid of her, dazzled by her perfect teeth, elaborately coiffured mane and super-elegant wardrobe (for to be fair, the real star of the show is Ms Jolie's stylist).

As for Johnny, he's as endearing as ever, even if he does occasionally seem to be phoning it in (plus is it just me or does he sound odd now when he talks with an American accent?). As performances go, it's definitely more Nick of Time than Finding Neverland, but he nevertheless manages to invest the buffoon-like Frank, and indeed the film as a whole, with some much-needed heart.

Definitely a triumph of style over substance, The Tourist provides the perfect escape from bad weather, VAT raises and anything else that isn't frothy and glamorous. Yes, it's silly, no it doesn't entirely work, but that doesn't stop it being fun, fun, fun.

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