â€œThe Touristâ€ review, short version: This movie sucks.
â€œThe Touristâ€ review, long version: German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck came onto the international scene in 2006 with his intelligent thriller â€œThe Lives of Others,â€ a movie that won best foreign film at the Oscars.
Solely because of its director, I was slightly looking forward to Henckel von Donnersmarckâ€™s new film â€œThe Tourist.â€ I figured he would have some sort of ace up his sleeve to give the movie an intellectual twist on the genre.
Boy, was I wrong. â€œThe Touristâ€ is nothing more than dumb espionage obscured by fancy looking Venetian vistas.
The movie stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp as an unlikely pair who meet on a train bound for Venice, Italy. Deppâ€™s character is a bumbling math teacher and Jolieâ€™s just likes to smirk a lot.
There is no reason that these two should have met and there is no reason why audiences should have to watch their trudging interactions for nearly two hours. The movie tries to make up a reason for their unexpected meeting, but it is a hollow attempt at a plot twist.
â€œThe Touristâ€ made me reminisce about previous releases in 2010 more than anything else. This year has seen a spike in the number of poorly made movies, typified by projects such as â€œThe Last Airbender,â€ â€œClash of the Titansâ€ and â€œKnight and Day.â€
Itâ€™s interesting that â€œThe Touristâ€ comes out in the same year as these movies but also in the same year as a film like â€œThe American.â€ Although â€œThe Touristâ€ and â€œThe Americanâ€ are similar on the surface level, the resonating themes and artistic expression of the latter make it so much more rewarding to watch.
In 2010, there were excellent films in the same endeavoring vein as â€œThe Americanâ€ such as â€œInception,â€ â€œThe Town,â€ â€œThe Ghost Writer,â€ â€œ127 Hours,â€ â€œScott Pilgrim vs. the Worldâ€ and my personal favorite to win Best Picture, â€œThe Social Network.â€
The end of 2010 is looking bright as well, be sure to seek out â€œBlack Swan,â€ â€œTrue Grit,â€ â€œBlue Valentineâ€ and â€œRabbit Hole.â€
I guess I can only hope that in 2011 there are less films of â€œThe Touristâ€ variety.
Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.