starring Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton
screenplay by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and Christopher McQuarrie and Julian Fellowes
directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
by Ian Pugh The loss of Bond 23 to MGM's umpteenth bankruptcy drama was just one of the many disappointments in the cinematic year that was--but an even bitterer pill arrived in the films that took 007's place. With neither Daniel Craig nor Matt Damon to keep a perpetually-ailing genre on its feet, 2010's triumvirate of identical spy thrillers (Knight and Day, Salt, now The Tourist) represents a return to the cozy arms of irrelevance. Sexpot secret agent Elise Ward ("Salt" herself, Angelina Jolie) leads her superiors on a wild goose chase through Venice in search of American math teacher Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), whom they believe to be her mysterious fugitive beau, Alexander Pearce. Unfortunately, this little game also garners the attention of a gangster (Steven Berkoff) to whom Pearce is rather severely indebted. The Tourist is not a daring picture by any means. The most unconventional thing about it, other than the casting of Depp, is the oddity of hiring Timothy Dalton to play a version of "M" when this is so clearly a Roger Moore movie: a romantic trip across Italy in a white tuxedo, peppered with stunts that border on slapstick.