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The Tourist 2010 ***

An early tweet from the Avengers; Age of Ultron movie showed Robert Downey Jr in a hi-visibility vest; the huge awareness of movie stars inevitably leads to a constant re-appraisal of their growing or waning popularity. Johnny Depp is a case in point; the media feast on stories of his failures, with 2011’s espionage comedy The Tourist seen as a key moment in his decline. Certainly, The Tourist doesn’t seem to be about much in particular; based on the film Anthony Zimmer, and anonymously directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, The Tourist focuses on glossy Italian intrigue between American abroad Frank (Depp) and his romantic entanglement with Elise (Angelina Jolie). Who is who and what’s being done is the question; with writing talent as diverse as Julian Fellowes (Downtown Abbey) and Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), The Tourist aims to keep the audience guessing. Perhaps the director’s pedigree from terse spy drama The Lives of Others led expectations in the wrong direction; The Tourist is a throwback to glossy, empty entertainments like Charade or To Catch a Thief, and Depp’s silent comedy techniques hold the attention is this neglected film that hits a simple target.

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  1. Yeah, I remember Ricky Gervais making fun of this film quite remorselessly during the Golden Globes. I did adore The Lives of Others but the reception this film got lead me to never watch it.

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