As a tourist one encounters adventure, inspiration and new culture. For this American ‘tourist’ however, his entire life depends on a ‘chance’ meeting with a mysterious woman, Elise (Angelina Jolie) on a train to Venice.
Elises entire identity is revealed like an onion, layer by layer. Startling as well as dark facts make this woman compelling and sexy, which Jolie represents even in reality. As she lures the unassuming Mathematics teacher, Frank (Johnny Depp) he is confused yet fascinated.
The plain man goes with the flow despite her erratic behaviour to find himself being chased by cops and gangsters alike. Dodging gunshots from the latter he gets arrested for accidental assaulting a cop only to be handed over to the murderers again.
After a remarkable escape aided by Elise, she finally reveals her agenda. After barely two days together the pair have fallen in love. A little difficult to believe given the circumstances, validated given the truth. Frank isn’t as innocent as he looks and Elise isn’t as devious.
Depp tickles with his trademark expressions lending a goofy touch an otherwise boring nerdy character. The events follow a comfortable pace but could have been quicker. As the cops track Elise the intrigue remains alive. The chemistry between the two isn’t exceptional and Jolie overplays the sensuality with her heavy hooded eyes and full pout.
Steven Berkoff is completely believable as the soulless gang chief, ruthless and a tad psychotic. The combination of witty ‘american’ jokes, an amusing background score and direction with a dash of humour prevent it from wilting. Maybe the pairing of two such great actors failed or the expectations were too high, but ‘The Tourist’ deserves more credit than it received.
With a climax that isn’t all that easy to predict, a solid plot and a breathtaking setting in the city of Venice, it makes for a good holiday watch.
Two sexy stars, a mysterious story and a beautiful city. You make the decision.