Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Movie Review: The Tourist

I like Alfred Hitchcock movies in general, like "To Catch a Thief", "Gaslight", "Infamous", ect. Anything with Hitchcock and Grace Kelly, or Ingrid Bergman, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease.

I only wish he'd done a film with Audrey Hepburn, but she said no, and as we know, Hitchcock only used blondes in his movies, and perhaps Hepburn refused the bleach?

We shall never know.

So I went to see the movie "The Tourist" at Al Bajha.

Well, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Tourist" was AIMED to be Hitchcock-esqe, with Angelina Jolie playing Elise Ward, an ice maiden/femme fetale whose ex-lover, the mysterious Alexander Pearce, is wanted for stealing billions from an English Gangster who surrounds himself with Russians.

Interpol is trailing Ward, a. because she is sexy, and b. because she is the only link to Pearce that they've got.

Stereotypically, the Hitchcock blonde/Henckel von Donnersmarck Jolie has the veneer of the icy seductress, who attempts to pull Interpol away from her lover Pearce, by seducing an unwitting tourist making his way to scenic Venice [Depp, who plays a math teacher from Wisconsin] to make the Interpol peeping toms think they've got their man Pearce.

And while we expect her to explode like an ice covered volcanoe at the end of the film, all the while being glamourous and ravishing through out, in Hitchock grande cinematic style...

[I love the standard of perfection in old cinema.

Which honestly, I like the idea of. They never do that in movies anymore, especially American movies. Thus I had hope from this European director]

...AT LEAST...

That is what we are waiting for, but it never happens.

We barely get a vapour, steam or fizzle.

This movie has got the clothes, and the hotel rooms, but none of the mystique or restrained elegance of the old Hitchcock era.

And the thing I hate most is, they could have TOTALLY done it with Depp and Jolie. it could have worked. The script, while albeit NOT the ending, had it in there, but somehow it was lost.

Ward screws it all in typical exploding volcanoe ice maiden style (we the audience are meant to believe) by falling in love with the boring math teacher from Wisconsin. Which is TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE because there is no sexual tension whatsoever in the film [a must of the hey days of Hitchock's thrillers] but close ups of Ange's body, and weird fantasy scene for Johnny Depp's character that doesn't fit with the ending very well. Which is not typical of this genre of cinema.

Johnny Depp and Jolie, well looking quite stylish together through out the film, have no real chemistry.

The movie is totally about the clothes of Depp and Jolie, and touristy footage of Venice streamed in. [If you are a fashionista, it is TOTALLY worth seeing for the clothes alone and Jolie's hairstyles.].

So, our fallen in love pair, the glamourous femme fatale, and the pure hearted but simple minded math teacher, face a second rate gangster (who even I am not at all afraid of), and we wait to see if Alexander Pearce will step in to save his love, or will it be the math teacher from Wisoncsin?

Johnny Depp seems to be trying to channel Peter Sellers but nothing he says turns out to be very funny. The Omani audience laughed anyways, but, it wasn't that funny. Have you seen "The Party" or the original "Pink Panther"? THAT'S funny toned down acting. Depp utters about a dozen lines throughout the whole film. In fact, he’s so terse he hardly seems to be in the movie.

[I won't ruin the ending, but to be honest, I think it SUCKED majorly. NOT CREATIVE AT ALL]. I didn't feel suspense, I was just looking forward to see what Jolie and Depp would be wearing next.

The only funny lines in the movie came from an Interpol agent obsessed with catching Pearse, played, I believe, by Paul Bettany (the guy who played the albino demon monk from the Da Vinci code?).

Mr. Bettany, who are the ONLY thing, beyond Ms. Jolie's stylist, that kept me munching my popcorn, instead of heading to the mall shopping, to pick up the trends from Jolie's looks. Thank you, and I commend you. You were given a VERY unbelievable part, and yet you made me believe it. Kudos to you.

That folks, is acting.

Jolie is on auto pilot, and Depp is trying something that doesn't seem to be working for him, though if you hated 'Cap'n Jack Sparrow' you'll maybe prefer him this way. I don't know.

It wasn't a bad movie. I could watch it again, though on rental. Worth seeing in the theatre once. "Meet the Focker III" seemed the only alternative the night I went. I loved the clothes. Bettany was funny. But to steal lines from another review I googled that I didn't save the lin to "the film makes no mistake of it's identity as a “thriller.” You have several aspects found in Hitchcock thrillers here: mistaken identity, hidden pasts, the elusive femme fatale, an original score that just won't stop (seriously, not one second of silence) and the big reveal at the end meant to make the audience scratch their head in awe. If you're in awe, it'll likely be along the lines of saying out loud, “that's it?”

I did appreciate that they didn't try to replce Jolie with Megan Fox (deeeeeeeear God!) even though she's getting older and has some wrinkles on her face now. I like the cinema that used an older Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, ect in film. Very Catherine Deneuve. Women can age and still be very striking, and beyond the glamour of a pale imitation of such.

Anyways, I am bored of my review now.

To sum it all up without ruining the ending: A boat-chase scene is so slowly edited that it quickly becomes boring, and no one knows the code to crack open the safe, or do they? Finally, Jolie dresses up and takes a motor launch. So does Depp. They look spiffy. Venice looks beautiful. Jolie and Depp cruise around in a sleek motor launch.

And that's.... about it.

Plus some gloves. Jolie makes me crave to wear elbow length gloves for day. And I found my next hair style for the next wedding I am going to.

Until next time I have nothing to do and head out to the cinema...

-Love OPNO

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