Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Top of the Queue Review" - The Tourist

The Tourist is the type of movie that Alfred Hitchcock would be making today if he were still alive.  It has A list Hollywood stars, exotic locales, mistaken identity, high speed chase scenes, romantic tension and our leads followed by both the bad guys and the police - all necessary elements for the best Hitchcock films. The only thing it is truly missing from a Hitchcock film is a really gruesome murder, but then sometimes Hitchcock didn't always include one of those in his films.

Now, I'm not saying that The Tourist is as good as any of Hitchcock's movies, all of which are pretty much considered classic examples of motion picture suspense movies.  But this film is an enjoyable two hours, with some of the most beautiful cinematography you'll see, thanks to the location at the center of the film- Venice, Italy.

Jolie and Depp in route from Paris to Venice
The film begins in Paris with Angelina Jolie as Elise Clifton-Ward, a British woman who is followed by the French police and who's every move is analyzed by them and communicated to Scotland Yard.  She receives a note from Alexander Pearce, a man with some connection to her past, that tells her to board a train to Venice and to find someone who looks just like him and to convince the police that that man is Pearce.

Of course that man she finds on the train is Johnny Depp, "the tourist" - a math teacher from America.  He plays the part that Cary Grant played in many Hitchcock movies - the "everyman" pulled into something that he never thought he'd be involved in. I don't want to say anything else about the plot, just watch it and enjoy how the film builds to it's climax.

Jolie and Depp arrive in Venice.
Now there are some things in this movie that go a little bit beyond reality, but for the most part the action and intrigue and the acting by Jolie and Depp are well within the boundaries of many classic suspense films.  The movie also stars Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton as the men from Scotland Yard who are following Jolie and Depp.

Now the film got mixed reviews last Fall, not exactly sure why that was as I had a good time watching it.  It was also nominated for Golden Globes for both Jolie and Depp as Lead Acting in a Comedy- which I find quite odd as even though there are a couple of humorous moments in the film, this is definitely more of a suspense movie than a comedy.

Directed by the German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who's first film The Lives of Others was a truly great movie, The Tourist has plenty of twists and turns and keeps you watching and guessing until the final minutes.   Jolie looks absolutely stunning in the movie, her hair, her make-up and her clothes are simply amazing.  But even Jolie can't compete with the beauty and splendor of Venice.  I'm sure this movie has increased that cities tourism.

Recommended for a fun night, put it in your Netflix queue if you like suspense movies with plenty of intrigue and romance, or if you just feel like a trip to Venice -and Mom, this is a movie I think you'll really enjoy.

Official Trailer for the movie -

Amazon link for the Blu-Ray of The Tourist (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Amazon link for the dvd of The Tourist

Amazon link for the Blu-ray of von Donnersmarck's first film The Lives of Others [Blu-ray]

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