We'll resume our regularly scheduled review in a moment, but first, a riddle.
What does Johnny Depp playing a schlub look like?
Think on that, and let's talk about The Tourist. Angelina Jolie! Johnny Depp! Italy! A madcap tale of mistaken identity and embezzlement! Or so the marketing around the film would have you believe. Unfortunately, the film would be far better off if you entered sedated, having never seen a movie before, and unaware of who this "John Depp" fellow was. Still, even then I think you'd have an inkling, a feeling, something in the back of your mind saying "Hmmm, this chap doesn't seem to fit in this part."
And he doesn't, which is the entire problem with The Tourist. Is the film enjoyable if you're looking for a quasi-homage low consequence afternoon? Possibly. Is it good? It is most decidedly not. It doesn't add anything to the conversation, it doesn't earn its relationships, and it is painfully predictable. Plus, we haven't even gotten to how they handle Angelina Jolie in this film. Here goes.
If aliens landed and saw only The Tourist to judge us on, they would believe that Jolie was our queen. The camera lingers on her a good fifteen to twenty seconds too long every few minutes, and the people in the film treat her as if they'd never seen a woman prior. Even the women treat her this way. She'll enter a room, people will gasp and stare, and she'll smile like a Cheshire cat. It's confounding. Yes, she's an attractive lady, and sure, she seems to make the news on a regular basis, but she's not the only example of sexuality we're working with, is she? She's not so breathtaking that normal human interaction with her becomes impossible, right? Yet, The Tourist believes this is the case. Johnny Depp meets Angelina Jolie on a train, and he's immediately unable to speak. His entire life prior, his thousands of interactions with mortal women, they've all left him woefully unprepared to bask in the visage that is Jolie. And we, the audience, are supposed to take extreme joy in this, or else why would the film show this same interaction 750 times in a row? Jolie is pretty, Depp is confounded, Jolie smirks at his confounded nature, Depp drinks her in with his eyes, Jolie smirks at his wanton lust, Depp slightly recovers, Jolie is pretty, Depp is confounded, and on and on this goes. To talk about the plot would be silly, as they never get around to it. To battle the logic of the film would be to swat flies in a hurricane. At some point you've just got to give up and seek shelter.
Now then, the answer to the opening riddle. Johnny Depp, playing a schlub, still looks very much like Johnny frickin' Depp, sexy man extraordinaire. He'd be suave if you dunked him underwater and garnished him in a trash bag, and so the film's continual insistence that we view him as overwhelmed by Jolie's attraction is a faulty premise. Asking Depp to play a common man is like asking a cheetah to do the Macarena. Counterproductive, pointless, and a massive waste of everyone's time.