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Stunning and statuesque, Angelina Jolie stars as the mysterious Elise Ward in "The Tourist." Who is this woman and why is she being tracked by Scotland Yard, Interpol and pretty much every other law enforcement agency in Europe?
"The Tourist" is reminiscent of the finely crafted spy thrillers delivered by Hitchcock with a dash of early James Bond.
While in Paris and with countless eyes watching her, Elise is slipped a note by someone signed "Alexander." It instructs her to take a train for Venice where she should look for a person of Alexander's stature and appear to be with him. We come to understand that Alexander has stolen billions from a notorious gangster and is wanted by everybody.
On the train, Elise carefully scrutinizes the male passengers and sits down with Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp) -- a totally baffled, heartbroken tourist. Upon arrival in Venice, Jolie takes Frank in hand and they check into a fabulous hotel, convincing Scotland Yard's fanatical officer Acheson (Paul Bettany) that Frank is Alexander after plastic surgery. Not only is Acheson convinced, Shaw, the notorious gangster, is convinced too. Needless to say, Frank's life is now on the line and Elise feels obligated to protect him.
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"The Tourist" is reminiscent of the finely crafted spy thrillers delivered by Hitchcock with a dash of early James Bond. It's refreshing to have a film where the plot, the characters and the settings can be savored without second by second editing and minute by minute explosions. Now, that's not to say there isn't action but, get this -- the action featured is there for a purpose and serves the story.
Replete with twists and turns, Jolie and Depp offer a strange yet appealing chemistry. To top things off, Steven Berkoff delivers a delicious villain. "The Tourist" is one of my favorite movies so far this holiday season.
I'm giving it three and a half stars and it's rated PG-13 for violence and brief language.