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Blu-Ray Review: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie Forgettable in ‘The Tourist’

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CHICAGO – When “The Tourist,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, was released theatrically, it was dealt a pretty brutal blow by critics and most assumed it would be relatively forgotten before long, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave the film its true place in history when they nominated it for three awards, including Best Picture, Actor, and Actress after a particularly suspicious amount of lobbying by Sony.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

Were the nominations a joke? Absolutely. The film is FAR from the best in any way. But it’s also far from the worst. It’s a forgettable trip to a beautiful place with beautiful people that tries to be something like a modern “Charade” but falls flat. I think some people incorrectly painted the film as one of the worst of the year, especially when a group tried to claim it belonged among the best, but you’re still likely to be disappointed if you rent it.

The Tourist was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 22nd, 2011
The Tourist was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 22nd, 2011
Photo credit: Sony

The best thing anyone can say about “The Tourist” is that seeing one of the most beautiful cities in the world (Venice) in HD can be a treat. The city looks gorgeous and it’s been shot very well. Perhaps that’s why Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp come off as more flat than they so commonly do — they’re against a more beautiful backdrop than ever before.

The Tourist was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 22nd, 2011
The Tourist was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 22nd, 2011
Photo credit: Sony

Depp plays a mild-mannered American named Frank who runs into a stunning woman named Elise (Angelina Jolie) on a train to Venice. It turns out that Elise is being tracked by Interpol (including Paul Bettany) as they are convinced that she will try and make contact with her fugitive lover, who, of course, they mistake for Frank. Now, Frank is running for his life while also finding himself drawn to the stunning woman who got him into so much trouble. The final act features a twist that sent some critics screaming for a rewrite but I would argue that the movie doesn’t exist without it and, honestly, it’s pretty well-telegraphed throughout the film.

One would think that Depp and Jolie would be perfect in a film like “The Tourist” but they seem uninspired, perhaps because they so often do more challenging work than they were required to do here. And the script does them no favors, never quite finding the rhythm of dialogue to make the film the suave, sexy escapade that it could have and should have been. The film works best when it’s unconcerned about its silly plot. Overall, it’s just not as much fun as a trip to Venice with two stars should be. Does that mean it’s horrendous? No. They used to make star vehicle travelogues like this all the time and there’s something old-fashioned about it that made it difficult for me to hate. But it’s certainly disappointing and only worth your time if you’re a hardcore fan of either star.

The Tourist was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 22nd, 2011
The Tourist was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 22nd, 2011
Photo credit: Sony

The Blu-ray for “The Tourist” looks great in HD and features an impressive amount of special features, although it’s yet another one of those annoying collections where each featurette runs less than ten minutes and doesn’t include a Play All feature. Just bunch ‘em together or at least give viewers the option to watch them without being thrown back to a menu over and over again. People were already angry about “The Tourist.” Don’t give them a reason to be angrier.

Special Features:
o Outtake Reel
o Alternate Animated Title Sequence
o Director Commentary
o A Gala Affair
o Bringing Glamour Back
o Action in Venice
o Tourist Destination
o Canal Chats
o MovieIQ
o BD-Live Enabled

“The Tourist” stars Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, and Rufus Sewell. It was written by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and Christopher McQuarrie and Julian Fellowes and directed by von Donnersmarck. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 22nd, 2011. It is rated PG-13 and runs 103 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Anonymous's picture

The Tourist

This movie wasn’t the best movie, for sure. I enjoyed it anyway. It gave us break from the same movies we see 100 of times a year. I thought the actors did a good job with the script they were given. It reminded me of the movies I watched as a child.

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