The Tourist

A spy romance that keeps the mood light and playful, The Tourist has Scotland Yard operatives pursuing Elise (Angelina Jolie) with a view to snaring her lover and mysterious fugitive, Alexander Pearce. Pearce frustrates the authorities (and a group of wronged mobsters also after his neck) by covertly setting up a dalliance with his sweetheart whilst dropping red herrings in the paths of his adversaries. One such red herring is Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), with whom Elise is instructed to court in order to throw his pursuers of his scent.

Depp is note perfect as the slightly geekish Wisconsin schoolteacher and, given that the jokes rely heavily on his delivery, his comic timing is also suitably spot on. Jolie is as charming and beautiful as she can be in a 'Julie Andrews' kind of way. She's wholesome and proper whilst being beautiful and alluring at the same time. It's fair to say that without this core pair of performances, the film would be a shadow of its present form. Solid support is provided by Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton and Rufus Sewell.

The only downfall to the film is that the twist in the (admittedly dull) plot is apparent from the start although this does provide some sport in watching the behaviour of the characters, the cleverness of the script and the quality of the performances (Depp's, in particular). Ironically, this would probably be a lesser film if the twist were not so obvious.

A good choice for a Boxing Day release, The Tourist is mild and inoffensive adult holiday fare, the perfect antidote to the typically mindless Boxing Day action/comedy blockbuster.
Stuart Jamieson

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