Well, that’s it for “The Tourist.” Sony Pictures is looking at quite a little disaster with the expensive Angelina Jolie-Johnny Depp star vehicle.
In his review just published, Todd McCarthy gives the movie a shellacking in The Hollywood Reporter. There’s nothing juicier than a bad review. Sony made some huge marketing mistakes here. Instead of trying to spin the situation, cultivate press, or smooth things over, they created an antagonistic situation and made it worse. Here’s some excerpts from McCarthy’s review:
“What’s served under a label promising first-class champagne tastes like last night’s prosecco in The Tourist. Staggeringly misjudged in virtually every department…”
McCarthy on Jolie: “Embalmed in makeup and elegant gowns that puts one in mind of Loretta Young and employing a reserved English accent that allows no possibility of genuine emotional expression…
[Director] Donnersmarck, along with his multitude of producers, must have dreamed that, with two of the most glamorous and best-looking stars in the business, he had a shot of making a modern Hitchcock romantic thriller along the lines of The 39 Steps, To Catch a Thief and North by Northwest. Well, dream on. No one here evinces the slightest feel for that sort of sly sophistication….
Looking puffy and unassertive, Depp never has registered less effectively in his entire film career. For Jolie’s part, the nature of her role doesn’t allow her to show her hand to anyone, severely limiting the extent of characterization. This is where wit and lively banter would come in handy, but this is more difficult to appropriate from old movies than is format.
Surely Donnersmarck did not set out to remake Death in Venice, but artistically, that is what has been achieved.
Also Owen Gleiberman writes in Entertainment Weekly:
“You go into a movie like The Tourist hoping for a feast of personality from the stars. What you get, in this case, is a waxworks version of chemistry.”