The Tourist (2010)
The Tourist doesn't tread many unfamiliar waters in combining a romance of the chance-meeting type with a seemingly important undercover chase in snobbish Paris and Venice environments. The 007 comparison is inevitable, and the film also bears some resemblance both in tone and theme with the enjoyable summer blockbuster Knight and Day. And enjoyable is also a fairly descriptive word for The Tourist, especially if you, firstly, can accept the film's carefree interpretation of reality and credibility and, secondly, you are able to pretend that Angelina Jolie can act.
The former means that the story belongs in the escapism department, but although it is trifling, this is a cleverly written spy mystery with the right amount of dodges and surprises. The latter is the core of The Tourist's major problem, because even if the film's two stars try half-heartedly, they cannot kindle even a hint of romantic spark between them. Johnny Depp is largely excused; at least he brings some character and wit to his Frank. Angelina Jolie's performance, on the other hand, is hollow, consisting of little more than posing. She spends the first two thirds of the film looking like a smug mannequin before finally coming slightly to life towards the end. As a result of this, the romance between Frank and Elise remains barren, inhibiting what could have been a far better film. Having seen what von Donnersmarck can get out of his performers in Das Leben der Anderen, I choose to believe he is not the first to blame. Between the obstacles, The Tourist does have the faint markings of a great director.