The Tourist - a remake of the little known French film called Anthony Zimmer - has a leading duo that most film-makers could only dream of pairing. Starring, perhaps, the two best looking actors on the planet at the minute, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, does the film's plot have more to it than the shallow reasons most people would probably choose to see this?
The story plays on plot points from a wide range of espionage capers, from The Bourne Trilogy to Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest and even touching on some of the latter day Bond films, albeit with a more light-hearted touch. The Tourist tells the story of Frank (Depp), an American tourist travelling across Europe who encounters a beautiful stranger (Jolie), who inadvertently sets him up to take her fall with the likes of a powerful gangster (Steven Berkoff) and an Interpol agent in the form of the under-rated, Paul Bettany.
While Angelina Jolie played her usual strong, dominate, female role well, even bringing back her Lara Croft accent, it was Depp who unsurprisingly shined in the role of Frank. Forever known to audiences as the cool and over confident Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, it was quite refreshing seeing him play a hapless likeable loser, for a change. Paul Bettany's character could have been expanded upon, as the obsessive agent hell-bent on bringing Jolie's accomplice, the mysterious Alexander Pearce, to justice. As a slight nod to the Bond franchise, the film clearly lends from, it was a pleasure to find Timothy Dalton on typically fine form as Bettany's boss.
Despite the terrific performances, which were a genuine pleasure to witness on screen, the plot fell rather flat, at times. Its extravagant use of romantic European locations, such as Paris and Venice, often came across more like a Christian Dior advert than a gripping thriller full of suspense and mystery. Also particularly bothersome was the film's two key plot twists just before and during the final act, which felt like they were just shoe-horned in to stop people from falling asleep.
Johnny Depp and Angelina Joile's presence gives The Tourist a tonne of creditability and, cynically, box-office receipts it probably wouldn't of attained with any other leading pair. Though the plot is mostly entertaining fluff, the characters, at times, feel under-developed. Casual film-goers looking for their fix of Depp or Jolie looking pretty on the big screen will undoubtedly enjoy the pair's light-hearted and playful chemistry, though the rest of us, who like their features to contain a bit more substance, may feel this trip to the cinema to be a somewhat hollow venture. But hey when in Rome...or Venice...
The Tourist is in cinemas everywhere now.