The Tourist is billed as a high stakes, mistaken identity movie set in Venice with Johnny Depp as the hapless tourist and Angelina Jolie, as the mysterious woman that sucks him into the conspiracy. You can almost see the dividing line in this movie where Jolie’s agents said, this half will be for Angelina to strut around in costume and be admired and Depp’s agent said, this half of the movie will be where Johnny does his cool acting stuff.

Depp is such an adept actor, he’s fun to watch in almost anything. Jolie is so hot, you can pretty much look at her all day. But the movie ran into a brick wall for me halfway through when I realized the ending and the plot when from a “Type 1” movie plot, to “Ah, no, we’re going to be clever.”

Clever gimmicks are only clever when they are also clever looking back on the rest of the movie. Part of the problem is, there are these two big stars and no other really big names. Without the potential of a character coming in at the end to upstage them, you can pretty much write the ending. And once you know the ending, the earlier scenes are then underminded in context.

Some movie fans won’t be bothered by this, as they don’t pay close enough attention to remember or care. And it’s not like the movie isn’t paced well or acted well, it’s just that the script paints itself into a corner and then gets out rather ungracefully with many unanswered questions. I can’t really answer them without spoiling the movie for you, because everything hinges on the revelation at the end and that’s really the problem. Had the movie been populated by relatively unknown actors, the balance might’ve shifted in a way that made the ending more of a surprise.

I think the filmmakers would’ve been served better by a more formulaic script, because at least then, the emphasis wouldn’t have been on the clever surprise since you’d know what was coming at the end. Plus it would be cool to see Depp in Jolie in that classic movie formula. It’s actually a little disappointing when the movie veers from the formula.

Anyhow, it would probably be an okay rental if you had nothing better to do. I give the Tourist 4 out of 10 keggers.

And now, a new feature, since I’m obsessed with making Xtranormal cartoons now. Here’s a rant about the movie, but there are major spoilers. Seriously, if you watch this, I’ll be giving away the entire ending. But I just have to vent about it. If you like this better than reading a review, let me know.