© 2010 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
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This week:
The Tourist

Filthy says:
"Big old, boring pile of shit."

There are no words to illustrate how fucking boring The Tourist is. There are movies, specifically one called The Tourist, but there is no verbal description that does justice. The word filibuster is more interesting. The minutes from town hall meetings regarding trash pickup scheduling are more exciting. Home movies from your grandmother's funeral are way better. Especially if some guy pops out from under the casket table and screams "Rrrraaarrrrgggghh!" to lighten the mood. Except, I couldn't shoot the video and pop out and nobody else was smart enough to bring a camera, so there is no tape of that. My point is, The Tourist sucks like a tranny on ecstasy. It's as boring as dryhumping bedsheets. Although, the sheets have more charm. Hell, the director's name, Florian Henckel von Donnersmark, has more intrigue than this stillborn turd.

The Tourist wants to be the Cary Grant/Grace Kelly/Hitchcock classic To Catch a Thief, or Grant/Eva Marie Saint/Hitchcock's North by Northwest or the Grant/Audrey Hepburn masterpiece Charade. I want a bigger dick, and kindergartners want Christmas once a week. Just because we want something doesn't mean we get it, no matter how many times we've ordered supplements through unsolicited e-mails and subsequently had our credit card numbers stolen by Russian mobs.

There are two huge problems with The Tourist that keep it form matching its role models. First is the wooden, dull direction and charm-free performances by Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Second is the miserable plot, as stiff and smelly as a dead mouse found in the bread box you never use. I would rather be raped by a tiger than see this movie again.

Jolie plays a woman on her way to Venice under direction from her boyfriend, who has embezzled billions of dollars from a mobster and is now being hunted by both Interpol and the aggrieved thug. To distract the police, the unseen boyfriend instructs her to sit near someone who looks like him on the train. She chooses Johnny Depp. She has dinner with him, flirts with him, lets him stay in her spectacular suite on the canals, worries over him and then lets the bad guys mistake him for the embezzler.

Why she lets him stay in the suite isn't explained. Why she takes a liking to him isn't either. The movie depends on us believing that they could fall in love, but there isn't a fucking moment in the movie that suggests any reason why they. Why he would accept her advances isn't explained either. I don't mean it's explained poorly. I mean, it's just not explained. This fucking piece of shit thinks that star power is more important than logic, that showing us pretty people standing around in pretty places is a solid surrogate for story. That we are supposed to immediately identify with two attractive people in a beautiful city and understand why they fall in love.

You see, Depp's character is a dullard. He isn't meant to be, exactly. He is meant to be a dumb tourist, and there are a couple of lame, overused jokes about how dumb Americans are when traveling in Europe. He is also supposed to be interesting enough for Jolie to fall in love with. But he has been given zero clever lines and schleps through the story like a bellhop at a Bismarck Holiday Inn, almost mumbling and almost never changing his expression. It's painful to watch. He isn't given anything clever to say. The opposite, actually. When he isn't saying boring shit, he's saying asinine crap. Every attempt at humor in The Tourist is lame. For example, the movie has him speak Spanish to the Italians, like "Gracias," instead of "Grazie," because, see, he's so dorky. Tee hee. Most embarrassingly, someone thought it was good comedy for him to say "Bon Jovi" instead of "Buongiorno." Yeah, Depp in long hair and wild beard totally makes sense as a math teacher from Wisconsin.

Jolie's character isn't any more interesting. Unless you think mannequins are great conversationalists. To be fair, there are some pretty awesome things you can do with a mannequin, especially if they have a kung-fu grip, but talking to them isn't one. Jolie says hardly anything, and what she does say is as lightweight as a two-dollar wrench from Harbor Freight. She spends the first fifteen minutes gliding across the screen with what's supposed to be an enigmatic smile. To me it looked more like she had eaten a bunch of Corn Nuts and was now constipated. She is in Venice to meet her boyfriend, but she falls pretty fast and hard for the character Depp plays. So, she's easily unfaithful, has no moral qualms about dating a thief, and is supposed to be someone we're rooting for.

The plot, a mistaken-identify pile of horseshit that is like if North by Northwest had been written as a 30-second watch commercial with the emphasis on the watch, might have been interesting if it made more sense and there were more to it. Stretched to 103 minutes, though, it's like a tapeworm pulled from your ass; way longer than you'd ever want it to be. Florian Henckel von Donnersmark pads the Tourist with eye candy like the Venetian skyline dominated by the tower at St. Mark's Square and boats in the canals. The action scenes are few, far between and paced slowly. They're also absurd and improbable. As directed, they are awkward and don't even have the common decency of having tension or surprise.

Every twist is predictable and telegraphed. Be forewarned, I am about to reveal the "spoilers," as fucking movie crybabies call them. This is a public service to convince those of you who have even the slightest interest in this movie to avoid it. Consider it my way of farting on the Waldorf salad at the Christmas dinner. Jolie turns out to be a secret agent. I expected that because that's how these movies always work, and Kim Novak was a secret agent in North by Northwest. The reveal is no surprise and is handled with the elegance of a pair of children's underwear. Johnny Depp turns out not to be a bumbling math professor (never mind that he never looked like one). I expected that too. At the end of The Tourst, the movie drags on and on until he finally reveals he has been the thief all along, but he got plastic surgery. Why, he even fools Jolie, who is, I guess, much stupider than the audience. And yet, he isn't pissed she fell in love with this "tourist" so easily. Florian Henckel von Donnersmark sits there staring at Jolie and Depp for so damn long that by the time he finally reveals this big "shocker", even two-year-olds have it puzzled out.

It's all so fucking obvious. It's all so fucking trite. It's all so fucking stiff and dull. It all depends so much on us being overwhelmed with star power that we don't notice there are no plot, no interesting characters and no plausibility. In other words, it's the kind of substandard horseshit that Hollywood thinks they can sucker us into. The Tourist is the most disgusting turd I've seen this year, and I've eaten from the dumpster behind the Korean produce store many times. One Finger. Just go rent a Hitchcock movie and be satisfied.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Mose Persico of CTV Montreal

The Tourist is "Thirilling entertainment!"

In The Tourist "Jolie and Depp sizzle"

Filthy's Reading
Steve Fischer - When the Mob Ran Vegas

Listening to
Black Keys - Attack and Release


To Catch a Thief