Let me put it bluntly – the day before yesterday I was in Venice. It’s a beautiful city. Loved every minute I was there.
The Tourist is a vehicle movie for a frumpy Johnny Depp and an impossibly exotic Angelina Jolie. In a nutshell, the British secret service are tailing her to snare her rich, mob-ripoffing banker boyfriend. To throw them off the trail, he orders her to pick a fall guy on the Paris-Venice train to play him (he’s had plastic surgery, don’t you know). She does, pulling an innocent tourist into this murderous game. So the flick’s got an interesting story and a clever twist at the end.
It’s the scenery and locations that gave me a smile, through. As I said, I was just there a day and a half ago.
It was cool to see one of the fast trains entering the Venice station we’d just departed from. However, when the train is ten minutes out, they are passing through hilly, rolling countryside. Ten minutes out puts you in salt-flats covered by refineries.
Depp comes out of the railroad station, hops in Angelina’s boat, and there is San Marco Plaza across from them. Actually, it would have been our hotel. The train station and the famous plaza are on opposite ends of the Grand Canal. The same thing goes with the airport – it’s way across the lagoon but in the movie, it’s right offshore.
There is a clever scene where Depp is being chased across Venice rooftops in his PJs by two Russian mobsters in broad daylight (isn’t this a bad dream we all share?). However, he’s moving north along the Grand Canal, just south of the Rialto bridge. Then, suddenly, he’s falling into the marketplace which is on the other side of the canal (and quite a ways away).
But what really cracked me up – in the scenes around the station and in San Marco plaza – no tourists. When we were there just out of season, the place was mobbed by tourists. In the movie, everyone was walking around in suits. No joke.
Really, the movie was fun but impossible. Nobody came up to Johnny Depp and tried to sell him a rose, a handbag, or sunglasses. What sort of realism is that?
The flick is fun for the scenery porn and its plot. Depp seems tired as if he wasn’t really interested. But it was worth a cheap rental for us, if only to see this beautiful city one more time.