Dec 122010
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

“The Tourist” review, short version: This movie sucks.

“The Tourist” review, long version: German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck came onto the international scene in 2006 with his intelligent thriller “The Lives of Others,” a movie that won best foreign film at the Oscars.

Solely because of its director, I was slightly looking forward to Henckel von Donnersmarck’s new film “The Tourist.” 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. “The Tourist” 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. Depp’s character is a bumbling math teacher and Jolie’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.

“The Tourist” 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 “The Last Airbender,” “Clash of the Titans” and “Knight and Day.”

It’s interesting that “The Tourist” comes out in the same year as these movies but also in the same year as a film like “The American.” Although “The Tourist” and “The American” 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 “The American” such as “Inception,” “The Town,” “The Ghost Writer,” “127 Hours,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and my personal favorite to win Best Picture, “The Social Network.”

The end of 2010 is looking bright as well, be sure to seek out “Black Swan,” “True Grit,” “Blue Valentine” and “Rabbit Hole.”
I guess I can only hope that in 2011 there are less films of “The Tourist” variety.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at

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