‘The Tourist’ Review

Published 4 years ago by

the tourist review The Tourist Review
Screen Rant’s Vic Holtreman reviews The Tourist

Usually, it’s a Sci-Fi or superhero film that comes along from time to time which relies primarily on its “look” above everything else – one doesn’t usually expect a drama, romance or semi-action/adventure story to rely on its visual aspect to carry it. The Tourist does just that, whether that was director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s intention or not.

Of course there are worse things than a film which stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp relying on its appearance.

We begin in the beautiful city of Paris, with the most beautiful Angelina Jolie (it’s the eyes I tell ya). She is so aristocratic here that she fairly glides across the screen – and she is under heavy surveillance by the Parisian police. Under the oversight of Scotland Yard (with Paul Bettany in charge of the case), they are hoping she will lead them to her lover, who is involved in some sort of major, epic financial crime.

As the film begins, it seems like we might be in for a decent ride – a game of cat and mouse between her, the unseen lover and the police. She receives a note at a cafe with instructions on what to do and where to go in order to evade those who are following her – and it doesn’t take long for the advice to prove accurate. The plan as dictated to her, is to find someone of similar build to him in order to have the authorities believe it IS him. They don’t know what he looks like because he’s stolen over $2 billion and the assumption is that he’s had extensive reconstructive surgery in order to hide from the police – and the British mob boss from whom he stole the money.

Of course she decides to select Johnny Depp as her “victim” – he plays a Wisconsin math teacher, and he does it quite well. Following a string of so many… stylized roles, it was actually impressive to watch Depp play a “regular joe.” He is somewhat shy and taken aback by Jolie’s beauty. Just as we think she is done with him, she decides to string him along further – or is she somehow intrigued by this simple little man?

As a matter of course he ends up in harm’s way – being chased by both the Italian police (they’re now in Venice), the mob gangster’s thugs and Scotland Yard. Believe me when I tell you that in this film, it is NOT as exciting as it sounds.

The Tourist just kind of plods along from one locale/scene to the next, seeming almost random. There are unexciting chase scenes and a bit of romance between Jolie and Depp that feels very one-way… it’s clear why Depp’s character would fall for Jolie’s, but why she would be interested in a guy like him never rings true.

If you’re going to see this film, you really, really need to be a fan of both of these actors because it’s very much focused on them. Jolie, as stated previously, is quite gorgeous in the film – but it seems like you’re not allowed to figure that out for yourself, as there are multiple scenes of her walking down the street, entering rooms, arriving at a ball, etc. where the men part like the Red Sea, and they turn in unison to gaze at her. As if to “help” us to understand that she is utterly and completely captivating in case we poor movie viewers don’t get that already.

One thing I did like about the film is that it felt like it was trying for that late 1950s, early 1960s romance/thriller vibe. It had the look of those and it even felt like a throwback to those by being what I would consider a mild PG-13 (well, other than one pretty brutal strangling). There were also some great actors on hand like Steven Berkoff, (an underutilized) Rufus Sewell and Paul Bettany. I know some people are interested in seeing this as much for Bettany as the two stars – but what I found amusing was that the few scenes Timothy Dalton appeared in as Bettany’s boss were totally stolen by Dalton despite very little dialog or time on screen.

One thing that I believe could have helped this film “pop” would be a better musical score. It was very conventional and generic and didn’t add much needed soul nor energy to the film. Speaking of the score (and films with those that excel), what The Tourist reminded me of was a much watered-down version of The Thomas Crowne Affair, with the genders reversed.

I don’t think it was as awful as many are making it out to be – it was certainly pretty to look at, but in the end, utterly forgettable.

Here’s a trailer for The Tourist:


[poll id="103"]

Our Rating:

2.5 out of 5
(Fairly Good)

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  1. That pretty much sums up what I thought this movie would be. I’ll wait for home release.

  2. Beautiful? Man, she’s disgusting. I’ll wait for it on Netflix… the watch instantly section.

    • Disgusting? Alex, I think you should get your eyes checked. :-)

      • Angelina and Paris are both beautiful lol

    • Probably Alex is just gay :P

    • I agree. Angelina tries too hard…

    • She’s not disgusting but she’s not all that.

  3. Whoah!

    Timothy Dalton is in this? I’m there. The guy is a genius!

    Plus Angelina is hot. I actually met her very briefly this year, it’s genuinely difficult to get words out in her presence.

    • That’s a good selling point for me too Sam, Dalton is great.

      • Yeah, like Dalton in Hot Fuzz. Man that was the best thing ever!

  4. She’s exquisitely beautiful with a hint of filthy skank. Perfect!

    • :)

    • netshark,

      No skank whatsoever in this film. She personifies sophistication in this one.


      • Really? That was one thing I was worried about. I don’t mind her as an actress I just think she can get a little “unnecessary” at times.

  5. Depp is supersitiously afraid to comb his hair, since the last time was for the Astronaut’s Wife.

    • Combs are his mortal nemesis, if he touches one, he will die.

    • It works for him

  6. Wow, 2.5/5, and RT gives it 17%! My daughter will not like that; she adores Johnny Depp. I might see it because I think Jolie is hot.

    • Kahless, don’t be afraid to let your daughter see this one. I think you will be impressed too.

  7. Why is a “forgetable” movie a bad movie? All I want is a couple hours of fun, not necessarily deep thought. I grab my popcorn and soda and escape into the doings of teh actors on the screen.

    • Lisa,

      You might very well enjoy it.


  8. This is disappointing. i was looking forward to Depp in a more down-to-earth character.

    Oh well, looks like a wait for Netflix movie now.

    Jolie may not be pulchritude personified like Scarlett Johansen, but she has quite a presence nonetheless.

  9. I still reckon the likes of Katherine Heigl, Eva Mendes and Eva Longoria are all more attractive

  10. She would look much better if she put on 10lbs. Her current weight is kind of gross and her vascularity(size of her veins) is a turn off. Seriously, look at her forearms!

    I saw “Warrior’s Way” and it wasn’t very good, nice action though. I will probably see this tomorrow just to kill a couple of hours. Glad to see Depp in a “normal guy” role.

    • I really see no reason not to see a movie with Depp. I really think he’s a good actor and think 2.5 is a little out of hand. Meh I always add .5 stars to any reviews on this site anyways. It’s crazy people are so quick to rely on a review.

      Anyways, to hell with Jolie and I agree partially. Except I want 20 more lbs on Jolie. Even in tomb raider she is still too skinny for my tastes and her boobs were not as big as lara croft’s. Wish hollywood would stop this anorexic craze and save the diets/lives of many self-conscious teens out there.

  11. @acslaterson

    Completely agree, she’s lost all the curves she had previously in the Tomb Raider. I think a few months on a fast food diet is the order of the day

  12. Scarlett Johannsson has improved a lot in the last couple of years and she looked very hot in Iron Man 2

  13. I love that a review on the merits of a movie turns into a discussion on whether people think Angelina Jolie is hot or not. Because it shouldn’t be based on whether you think she can act or not… not for comments based on a movie she’s in.

    Thanks Vic. So do you think the three Golden Globe nominations for this film are undeserved?

    • Jessie,



  14. Jessie’s right.

    But she’s still really filthy smokin hot like a tramp made of gold. And that’s enough for me!

  15. Ahh, up towards the top of the comments Vic said she’s got no skankification going on in this one.

    Damn. That’s ok, I like em cleaned up and sparkly too sometimes…

    Movie gets a 4.5 from me.

  16. Seen the movie today I thought it was great it could of used a little more action .How ever I enjoyed it, ending was cool.I’m a Depp fan

  17. I thought it was excellent, I saw it with my husband and then again with a friend. You notice very different things the second time around!

  18. The Tourist is a remake of The Anthony Zimmer, a 2005 French movie directed by Jerome Salle and starring Sofie Marceau.

  19. I really enjoyed it. I think had they (studio) publicized it as a throwback to 50′s, 60′s light caper movies (think Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Carey Grant, Sophia Loren) it would have done better. Reviewers who damned the movie were wrong.

    Alex, she may represent alot of things to lots of folks, but you’re blind and tasteless if you define her has disgusting.

    And Foopher, she does what she wants. She could give a sh*t about naysayers. She doesn’t try too hard – she does what pleases and interests her. Those who like her follow her, those who don’t, ‘oh well’.

  20. Hey, I waited and Redboxed this last week. I wish I had seen it on a bigger screen than my 55″ because the locale was terrific! Venice is pure movie scene fun! I had heard so much negative hype about the wooden characters from the ‘critics’ like Joy Behar to ricky gervais ~ I was sure it was a bomb… But I liked it so much! It really was a had to watch twicer for me ~ I believed the chemistry more, the second time around ~ once I got it! I would really like to see the deleted “shower scene” but oh well. It was a nice change to watch a film without a lot of techno, with a couple of great actors who play different characters than you normally see them portray – I am so tired of johnny in dredlocks and jolie as an assassin! Great movie for the entire family!!

  21. Well, Vic. I see there’s no accounting for taste. Actually disappointed in your review, and as I have come to see you as the ‘final say’ man of Screen Rant I guess all I can really count on is that you and I seem to cue to the same movies.

    I give The Tourist a 10, 5 on your scale. It never plods as you have said, it builds. There is wonderful film chemistry not so much between the character portrayed as between the screen and the audience.

    Jolie once again is totally new, completely different from her other creations. I think at this point, sorry dad (loved you in catch-22), she has out-stripped Jon Voight’s talent — but I can only imagine that would make him smile. And, yes, I am a fan of both. I have been watching Angie ever since she played the rookie cop in The Bone Collector, and am “frank”ly surprised at the level of femininity she brought to the part.

    Depp has just raised the bar on his performances here, too. As I watched, I was struck by how much, IMO as you say, Depp seemed to be not an American at all. I placed his accent as continental and it threw me.

    Most of the time, I disagree with the idea of not giving spoilers away. I am the type of person that prefers to go into a movie knowing all of the details first. In this case, I really do think telling people the ending would truly ruin their experience. Yes, there is a rather large surprise ending.

    The movie is like a 007 and indeed features a former Bond in its cast, but this is much better. There is a serious romance going on here. And, I was left spell-bound. Did I say this was Depp’s best yet?

    I guess we are very different people after all, Vic.

    To others who have not seen this yet, BIG HINT. This is the movie you would take someone you truly love to. Don’t worry about the popcorn — you need that for PIXAR.

  22. It feels as if this movie was so pretty that critics are actually counting the fact against it. Yes, the cinematography was absolutely captivating, but by no means was the look the only asset this film had going for it. The film was definitely going for a late 1950s to early 1960s vibe, and it did a great job at that. This is the reason the action scenes weren’t so ridiculous. I’m no movie buff by any means, but I even at a point in the movie paused to appreciate it.

    Not much can be said about the plot without ruining the viewing experience for someone who has not yet watched it, but there were definitely some nice little unexpected twists in there, and it’s elegance rivaled, if not bested, that of the ‘look’.

    Maybe this movie wasn’t the greatest film ever made, but it certainly was great.

    • Magic, I fully agree. This movie made 10/10 on my movie meter. Awesome movie. Great ending. It certainly helped that Paul Bettany’s character was a real jerk throughout!

  23. Nobody seems to have mentioned that this film is a really bad remake of the french film called Anthony Zimmer. Anthony Zimmer is a 2005 French romantic thriller film written and directed by Jérôme Salle and starring Sophie Marceau, Yvan Attal, and Sami Frey. Sophie Marceau is absolutely wonderful and in comparison Angelina Jolie is an overblown caricature whose lips make an entrance before anything else. Anthony Zimmer is a classy film but this was just a disappointing farce! God knows why Johnny Depp took this part and he and Angelina together just do not gel. I cringed in the kissing scene. Anyone reading this, please do go and see Anthony Zimmer and you will see what I mean!