The Tourist

August 7, 2011 - Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie make a mess out of Venice in this thriller from 2010. Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton have smaller roles.

Bettany plays a Scotland Yard inspector who's spent several years and millions of pounds on the trail of an accountant named Alexander Pearce. Pearce disappeared after stealing billions from the mobster he worked for. Scotland Yard wouldn't much care, I guess, except that Pearce never paid taxes on the stolen loot.

Bettany's strategy for finding Pearce is to follow his lover, Elise (Jolie). As the film opens, she receives a letter from Pearce with detailed instructions to catch a train in France and then head to Venice.

The instructions also tell Elise to pick some unsuspecting person on the train and make the agents who are inevitably following her think it's Pearce. The person she picks is Frank Tupelo (Depp), a widowed math teacher from Wisconsin. Elise draws Frank into her web long enough to serve her purpose. But, she also kind of likes him, an attraction that puts both of their lives in jeopardy.

Overall review: ** The star power of Jolie and Depp helps to overcome a plot that defies believability. They have fun with their roles and the action is decent. Nobody's winning any awards here, but it's not a bad way to kill 1:45 on a rainy afternoon.