The Reel Deal


A Reel Deal Film Review

Film Insight by Tyler Malone

January 2011

Reel Rating: 2.5 out of 5


The best part of watching The Tourist (perhaps besides the ever-pleasing eye-candy of Monsieur Depp and Madame Jolie-Pitt) is that the viewing experience makes you want to be a tourist. It’s not so much that you want to be the tourist in The Tourist (though getting picked up on by a girl as hot as Angelina Jolie while on a train is probably the recipe for the greatest vacation I’ve never had), but rather that the movie acts as travel porn.

What makes the film travel porn? Well, when Jolie’s character sips tea at a cafe in Paris, I wanted to sip tea at a cafe in Paris (and I don’t even like tea). I could almost have cared less about who was monitoring/stalking her in that early scene. And as Depp’s character takes a train ride to Italy, I wanted to take a train ride to Italy as well. The majority of what one might call plot seems to go away in the end, if there ever was much here to begin with. I won’t lie: I had forgotten the majority of what happened in the movie by the time I exited the theater; what stayed with me were the locations and the fun.

Travel porn isn’t always a bad thing. Unlike Eat, Pray, Love, from earlier in the year, which was the most detestable form of travel porn (i.e. travel porn that pretends to be deep, philosophical, moving and empowering–bleh!), The Tourist doesn’t pretend to be anything but fun action in fun locations. You could call it To Catch A Thief-Lite (which in itself was already somewhat Hitchcock-Lite). It’s like one of those middle-of-the-road James Bond films, without Bond, of course, but with just as much sexiness and action, and just as many one-liners and plot twists (some that work and others that don’t). Whereas Eat, Pray, Love left me wanting to puke, rant, defecate, The Tourist is an entirely watchable movie, even if it has its definite flaws and plenty of eye-roll moments.

Overall, as travel porn it is much better than something like Eat, Pray, Love, and as a romantic comedy it is miles above The Bounty Hunter (and the slew of other terrible rom-coms to come out in 2010), but as a wannabe-Hitchcock-Lite thriller it’s nothing memorable or engaging, and as a straight-up action film it isn’t quite as satisfying as the other Angelina Jolie film of 2010, Salt. Probably the greatest endorsement I can give this film is that it wasn’t boring–and not only is it not boring, but it contains attractive actors in attractive locations. Is that enough to attract you to the theater? If it is, then enjoy it–I’m sure you will. If that isn’t enough to draw you in, then you’re probably better staying away. It comes down to this: I don’t recommend the film wholeheartedly, but I will admit unapologetically to having enjoyed touring with The Tourist. And if you need a vacation, it’s not such a bad trip.

The Tourist is a film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, written by Christopher McQuarrie, Julian Fellowes and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, and based on the film Anthony Zimmer (which was written by Jérôme Salle). It stars Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff and Rufus Sewell. The film revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path.


Official Site: The Tourist

IMDb: The Tourist


Written by Tyler Malone

Photography Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Design by Marie Havens


Film Still of The Tourist, Photography Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

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