Monday, 14 November 2011

The Tourist

I begin the with latest film experience because it was shot primarily in Venice and also in Paris, and never intended to take itself serious, The Tourist 2010 with Angelina Jolie and John Depp and Timothy Dalton was enjoyable late night fun which did not require intense mental or emotional attention..

Alexander Pearce worked as an accountant for an international criminal, an Englishman surrounding himself with Russian Hoods. Alexander steals $2.3 million dollars from his employer and then goes on the run during which time he is pursued by the beautiful Angelina as Elise, an undercover international spy working for the British and in particular Paul Bettany as Inspector John Acheson who is pursing Pearce not as thief or the accountant for an International crime boss, but for unpaid taxes amounting to £744 million. Some £8 million has been devoted to the task to-date.

Elise has one flaw as an undercover spy she falls in love with her honey pot victims and has taken up residence with Pearce reputedly for the greater part of a year. She is consequentially suspended from her job. Pearce then changes his face spending $20 million to achieve his new look during which time he has no direct contact with his bed partner who lives the life without him in Paris spending her say relaxing in pavements cafés and expensive shopping and living the life of rich widow waiting to hear from her partner after his facial transformation.

During this unspecified period she is kept under surveillance by British agents with the help of the French Police although Jolie is all too well aware of their presence. One day at the café a messenger brings her a brief note inside a larger delivery package. The observation squad apprehend the delivery man believing he is Pearce only to find he is who is he is. Elise burns the note as instructed but the ashes are recovered, chemically treated and scanned into a computer programme which reassembles the fragment into the message. Meanwhile she has enjoyed giving those watching her temporary slip which she takes the train from Paris to Venice and attempt to find one person of the same height and build who is sitting alone in a compartment.

She assumes this is to be Pearce but the man quickly disabuses her by stating that he is a bachelor school master from the USA, with an American accent (played by Johnny Depp) on his way as a Tourist to Venice. She assumes or off camera is advised that he is a blind, a patsy, someone who will be taken to be Pearce by the British authorities and the Russian style international hood and followed by Interpol and the pursing former employer after his money. She may have been advised of this in a subsequent note which is not shared with the viewer. She takes him to a pre booked for her expensive suite in a hotel overlooking the Grand Canal which is full of her size designer wear and requires that he sleep on one of the sofas although gives him at kiss at the window for the purpose of making observers believe it is Pearce.

They have a meal in the dining room during which flowers are delivered to the suite and a new message with an invitation for Elise to attend a Ball. We also witness the owner of $2.3 billion ordering his hoods to find Pearce alive but the girl can be killed once Pearce has been secured. The Tourist with the name of Frank Tupelo wakes to find breakfast is being delivered and he still in his night attire when the hoods arrives and start shooting through doors so he has go onto the balcony and get onto the roof and is eventual forced to dive down on to a canopy and then onto a policeman who falls into a canal. He is held by the police several hours after explaining to a senior detective his nightmare of what has happened.

The detective then attempts to sell him to the Russian style hoods but he manages to escape still in hand cuffs and in he canal cruiser in which he has been brought to the meeting place, but before he is handed over his boat is towed away by one driven by Elise. Then is then a low powered chase through the canals because of the enforces speed limit by the Venetian authorities to avoid further damage to the buildings. The couple eventually get away and this costs the surviving Russian hood his life, personally killed by the International criminal in front of a tailor preparing a new suit .

Next Elsie attends the local police/Interpol centre where it is revealed for the first time that she is a suspended British agent because of her relationship with Pearce. True to previous experience she had grown fond of the self effacing American Tourist and she agrees to be wired for the Ball or locating Pearce. She then takes the Tourist to the canal side airport station with his passport and money telling him to return home and forget what happened.

At the Ball she believes someone who has left a new note for her is Pearce but he disappears. Frank the American Tourist gains entry into the Ball and dances with her she disappears while Frank is apprehended by the British out to recover more than the £8 million they have spent to-date trying to secure the £744 in unpaid taxes. The girl makes her away to the rendezvous which because of the wire is also known to the Interpol group who establish surveillance with marksmen covering the windows.

Here Elsie is trapped and threatened with Torture and death by the Englishman and two new Russian Hoods. She reveals the location of the safe but her first try at opening is a false one. Frank who has been watching the event on camera and handcuffed again becomes more and more agitated as the Inspector refuses to give the order to fire on the captors to save the life of Elise because he hopes that the situation will force Pearce to reveal himself.

There should be few viewers by this time who have not worked out that Frank is really Pearce and this is confirmed when he undoes the handcuffs and gets away from the surveillance centre and appears in the apartment introducing himself as Pearce and offering to open the safe if Elise is allowed to depart. She is not so when he goes to the safe the order is given to shoot the criminal and his bodyguards. The boss of the Inspector is present and he lifts the suspension on Elise and immediately discharges her from the service so she can go off with the Tourist. Then the news comes that the man who had left the note at the Ball has been spotted and the unit goes off to apprehend him believing he is Pearce. He turns out to be a genuine American Tourist paid by Pearce to deliver message and be at different places as indicated by mobile phone message having received a significant payment with a promises of more.

Pearce when confronted by his former boss has already explained the extent of the facial reconstruction including an implant to change the sound of his voice and produce the American accent.

Alone with Jolie he opens the safe to reveal passport cash and other goodies, presumable the codes and information on the location of the main funds. The Inspector and his boss arrive back and are forced to blow open the safe where a single cheque is found for the full amount of the back taxes, The Inspector is wanting to mount a new manhunt for Pearce but his boss is philosophical drawing attention that the real villains are dead, that they have recovered the full amount of the taxes and he wishes he couple well who are seen setting of for a new life together and presumably with the balance remaining on the ill gotten gains.

The outstanding question is did Jolie really not realise that the Tourist was not Pearce. Ok he had dramatic facial and voice reconstruction but his manner and general personality will not have changed.

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