The Tourist, directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) and co-written by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie), is actually a remake of Anthony Zimmer, writer-director Jerome Salle’s 2005 French thriller about a wanted man seeking to outrun international police and the Russian mob who, through other agents, enlists an unwitting tourist to assume his identity. Here, the tourist is an American (Johnny Depp) and Angelina Jolie plays the mysterious femme fatale who bats her dark eyes at him on a train and sets him on a suspenseful (and potentially deadly) European excursion.
Jolie serves as little more than a well-appointed prop; she is styled to remind audiences of classic American actresses in European adventures and, at least in the early stages of the film, gets to subvert expectations by saving Depp’s clueless tourist from situations far beyond his understanding. Depp, on the other hand, overplays his dopey American vibe, and it's disconcerting because we end up waiting for him to throw in a winking Captain Jack-ism to let us know that the whole thing is a big joke.
But Donnersmarck isn’t playing around. He’s trying his best to instill a sense of spirited adventure in fantastic settings, but he’s traveling down the wrong road. He’s stuck in La La Land trying to make a Bond movie, and if he’s not careful he might lose the life and liveliness of that earned him this shot in the first place. Grade: D-plus
Opens Dec. 10. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.