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The Tourist

Year: 2010
Production Co: GK Films
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Writer: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck/Christopher McQuarrie/Julian Fellowes
Cast: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell

File this one under ideas that looked great on paper but which missed an essential X factor, like putting Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman together as retired assassins in Red. How could a comedy of romantic intrigue harking back to a classic Hollywood era starring two of the hottest actors of today possibly fail?

Most of the reason it did was because until we saw Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp share the screen, nobody could have guessed the two could be so completely devoid of chemistry. Despite the beautiful backdrops, classic noir set-up of mistaken identity/romantic entanglement and the crackling pace, every beat of this film falls flat.

Depp is schoolteacher Frank on holiday when the beautiful Elise (Jolie) approaches him on a train, pretending to be interested in him in order to throw the cops of her tail. At her criminal lover's urging from in hiding, she chooses Frank as a decoy, making the police believe he's the man they're after.

But the out-of-his depth Frank ends up with a fearsome mob boss (Berkoff) after him too, for the money Elise's lover stole from him. Elise and Frank keep crossing paths with the good guys and bad guys one step behind and in the grand tradition, all is not what it seems.

After all the kerfuffle about what a shocker it was The Tourist doubled its money, but it will deservedly be remembered as an example of the total absence of the hard-to-grasp quality that makes a movie great when all the signs were seemingly perfect.

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