Johnny Depp finds his life in danger after meeting Angelina Jolie in the thriller “The Tourist.” (Columbia Pictures)
'The Tourist" is nothing to get excited about.
Which is somewhat problematic since it's supposed to be a thriller.
In fact, director-screenwriter Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has made a film that's strikingly dull except for a sparse few lines of witty dialogue. This may be what happens when you let a German art house director ("The Lives of Others") take charge of a quasi-James Bond film.
"The Tourist" certainly doesn't lack in star power, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. But if you took the dullest five minutes of Jolie's action hit "Salt" from last summer, they would be more exciting than anything in "The Tourist."
Jolie plays Elise, the cool sometime-girlfriend of a financial wiz who stole billions from a British gangster. The police are after him because he owes taxes on the money, the gangster's after him for more obvious reasons.
So she's followed when she climbs on a train from Paris to Venice. And when she strikes up a friendship with an American tourist named Frank (Depp) who fits the general description of the missing financier (somehow no one has a photo of the guy), everyone suspects Frank might actually be the embezzler with a face-lift.
Soon Frank is scrambling over rooftops and body-skiing canals to avoid hit men.
This all sounds far more exciting than it is. In truth the film's basic story is quite serviceable, but von Donnersmarck lingers over scenes like he's never heard of pacing, while taking far too much delight in both the European locations and Jolie's wardrobe changes. And, sad to say, the chemistry between the leads is nonexistent.
Jolie! Depp! Romantic locations! Intrigue! Some movies sound too good to be true. "The Tourist" is one of them.
GRADE: D+Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong languageRunning time: 103 minutes