Review Roundup: ‘The Tourist’

Claudine Zap
Movie Talk
'The Tourist' Columbia Pictures
'The Tourist' Columbia Pictures

Two of the hottest stars. A romantic setting. A fast-paced, action-packed plot. The ingredients seem to have the makings of a hit. But "The Tourist" has critics grousing that it's a bad trip -- the stars have no chemistry, the plot is weak, and Johnny Depp's performance is his worst yet. What went wrong? Let's see what the reviews say.

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck ("The Lives of Others"), the film stars the quirky actor Johnny Depp ("Pirates of the Caribbean") as Frank, a math teacher from Wisconsin who travels to Venice to get over a breakup and gets involved with Angelina Jolie ("Salt"). He is then fingered in a case of mistaken identity. Let the action thrills begin, or not.

Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman was underwhelmed, grading the movie a "C" for a "a caper that's fatally low on carbonation." He adds, "You go into a movie like 'The Tourist' hoping for a feast of personality from the stars. What you get, in this case, is a waxworks version of chemistry."

Rotten Tomatoes assigns the film just a 23% on its Tomatometer, with this review: "The scenery and the stars are undeniably beautiful, but they can't make up for 'The Tourist's" slow, muddled plot, or the lack of chemistry between Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie."

Variety's Justin Chang is just as unimpressed, writing that Jolie and Depp's combined star power is "not to be confused with actual romantic chemistry"

Related: Angelina Jolie defends herself to critics >>

Matt Pais at Metromix rates the movie 2 out of 5 stars and notes, "Jolie has never been more Jolie, Depp has never been less Depp, and it adds up to nothing. The critic takes it further, saying Jolie looks "clearly bored of being blandly cold and sexy." And Depp? He "completely botches the movie, making Frank Mr. Calm when he should be freaking out about all the people trying to kill him."

Related: Johnny Depp surprises classroom with visit from Captain Jack >>

Michael Phillips, of the Chicago Tribune, gives the flick 2 out of 5 stars. And he isn't buying Depp's performance, either. Noting that the actor's look is more Euro-trash poster boy then midwestern professor, Depp "suggests an amalgam of everybody Carly Simon may have sung about in 'You're So Vain.'"

Roger Ebert calls the plot "preposterous" and assigns the movie 2 out of 4 stars. While he praises Jolie for getting the tongue-and-cheek tone of the movie, he can't say the same for Depp: "These two should engage in witty flirtation and droll understatement. In practice, no one seems to have alerted Depp that the movie is a farce."

Everyone does seem to agree on this, though: The scenery is pretty.

See a featurette for "The Tourist" here:

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