What, at first glance, could have been a huge Oscar contender, turned out to be just an okay piece of silly entertainment. The movie was not a fail on all levels, but it could have (and should have!) been better. Here's the breakdown...
Hollywood's Finest: Say what you will about Angelina Jolie or Johnny Depp, but theirs no denying that yeah our one of our generations top actors in the business, and have never been in a movie together until now. So naturally one would think when combining the star power you would strike gold!...right? eeehhh not quite. Depp and Jolie are wonderful actors, but they cant seem to find a connection together on screen. Depp gives a funny and charming performance as an average man who falls in love with Jolie's character, but the problem lies with Jolie herself. I couldn't help but feel that her role was only used for pure eye candy and diversion. In sort Johnny Depp- Thumbs Up, Angelina Jolie- Thumbs Down.
The Overall Plot: Just like the acting, this was a plot that should have been much better than it actually was. It's a tough topic to touch on because I dont want to be a jerk and give away important points and the some-what clever twist. But it seems as though the pacing was off (especially in the beginning) and they took the easy way out with the ending.
The Action and Humor: Actually not bad. Where the movie wins is in its ability to not shove a big plate of "in your face action" right at you. The action scenes are a bit more sophisticated and realistic than one would except from this movie and it was all very exciting to watch. As for the humor, I thought Johnny Depp played a very funny and down to earth (he actual refers to himself as this) character. There was no slapstick humor, but a lot of what was said and done was funny in a subtle way, and it all really pays off!
Bottom Line: While not the amazing star showcase it should have been, Johnny Depp seems to find just enough charm, Venice was a wonderful city to look at through the screen, the action and humor were pleasantly subtle, and a twist that didn't have me in shock but was still somewhat surprising, I'd say The Tourist is a watchable DVD rental that will most likely be a fun and entertaining time in the moment, but wont really be remembered down the road.
What I Liked: The constant humor this movie had. This is a straight up road trip comedy with two likable leads that win a place in our hearts and funny bone. Robert Downey Jr. was a great choice for the role because his sarcastic attitude and subtle sense of humor really works well when playing off of Zach Galifianakis, an equally as funny actor who plays an annoying aspiring actor that always gets into troubling situations but he never seems over the top. The relationship these characters have really develop over the course of the trip and every funny action or line that is delivered works because of it. Funny supporting roles include Danny McBride and Jamie Foxx, who arent in much of the movie, but when they are they really shine bright.
What I Didn't Like: I said the situations and one liners were funny, but that doesnt mean they couldn't have been improved to make them all memorable. This comedy hits more than it misses, unfortunately when it does miss its very noticeable. Half the jokes and situations in the movie I remember laughing at in the moment, but they didn't all leave a lasting memory for me.
Bottom Line: People will talk down about this movie for two reasons. 1) It's not as funny as the Hangover, 2) It steals from Plains, Trains and Automobiles. Both these points may be true, but you cant deny that this is a fun and enjoyable ride with a rhythm all its own. Its not perfect, but its one of the better comedies to come out in 2010.
What I Liked: Ben Affleck has been sort of disappointing as an actor over the past couple years (or at least since Gigli), but as a director he shows a massive amount of talent. The fact that he is from Boston shows us that he knows his stuff when portraying his beloved home city as the bank robbery capital of the world. For the most part, every performance is nicely done. Jeremy Renner comes off his best actor nomination in The Hurt Locker with all barrels blazing as a hot headed, trigger-happy thug (the kind of character he played in The Hurt Locker). Jon Hamm (aka Don Drapper) is pretty much perfect as the head FBI agent on the case. In most cases, the head agent is not anything special in films like this, but in this film, Hamm was special . Of course Ben Affleck should not only be recognized for the directing in this film, but for the acting as well. This truly is one of his best movies ever. Aside from the acting, one of the things to be admired about this film was the scenery of Boston. It was shot beautifully and gave me a sense that the fall season was here. The pacing in the movie should also be recognized, for it didn't just include non-stop brilliant action scenes, but it was also a love story. I was really surprised with how realistic most of the heist and gun battles actually were.
What I Didn't Like: For the most part each character was played very well. However, I felt that Blake Lively's role in this movie was very under used. She had the potential to be a strong actor in the story, but the story did not allow for that. She was used solely for information and not emotion. Also, don't get me wrong, I liked the relationship between Affleck and Rebecka Hall. As the characters first met it seemed to be a little stale for me. She just came right out and said everything that had happened to her instead of Affleck discovering it for himself.
Bottom Line: The Town is a crime drama done well! The kind of movie where the action and drama are perfectly spaced apart and the actors really find a way to get you to care. With exciting action and a deep message on facing our past and the changes we face in life, The Town is truly one of the year's best films.