Friday, June 29, 2012

With a Name Like That, I was Expecting More of a Trip...

The film industry makes movies for one reason: to make money. Sure, film makers are storytellers and that is why they make film, but if a big film company gives them financing it is because they think it will earn money back. The problem is that sometimes big money doesn’t understand the product. They know what certain elements of a successful story look like and back the elements, often failing to see that the story connecting the elements is missing. “The Tourist” is a story that exists for two reasons: a great atmosphere/look, and excitement that happens to an average guy (i.e. the viewer). It is escapism.

There is also the “twist ending” element, but that doesn’t really work here because it doesn’t pay off. It is not that you deduce the ending even. In these sorts of films one always begins by thinking, “if they are going to twist this film, the obvious thing to do would be…” A good twist NEVER goes with the obvious choice, as that would defeat the pay-off. This film does go with the obvious. That in turn, ruins the “everyman” fun of the film because you suspect there is no average Joe to be had, and you are right.

Well, at least you can turn your brain off and enjoy the scenery and the beautiful people, right? To a degree perhaps. It is only a matter of time before you begin to have nagging doubts and questions. Did Depp let himself go for this role? He looks a little pudgy in the face. Speaking of weight, is it healthy for Angelina to be that skinny? It certainly doesn’t look good. And what is with the raccoon eyes? Why is she using that attempted British accent?

Escapist entertainment has its place and can be a great thing. It is just nice when it is done in a way that you really can get away for a couple hours without being reminded that it is all a farce.

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