Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Tourist (part two)

OK then, first up, to the film itself.  Well, we can get rid of this pretty quickly.  It's pretty much a heap of hooey.
Damn, where the hell did I leave those jotters?

Which is not to say that it's all that bad, mind you - I mean, it's meant to be a bit of fluff, after all.  The time passes amiably enough, and I felt generally well-disposed to the movie.  But it could have been so much more.  Clearly they were hoping for some great chemistry between Depp and Angelippy, but their scenes together don't exactly sparkle.  If the idea was to go for the kind of on-screen sparring and quick-fire quippage of, say, Howard Hawks in his prime, then we're definitely talking null points here. If, on the other hand, they were looking to nod in the direction of Hitchcock and North By Northwest (and I think they were - mistaken identity and all that) then it all needed to be much more thrilling and exciting.  Which it wasn't.

I don't want to give away much of what is a slender plot, but I will say that the movie ends on quite a wrong note for me.  Not convinced at all.

Show Me The Maths Teacher
But enough of this - we're here to see how JD performs as a maths teacher, aren't we?  Hell yeah.  So let's see...

First up, and we can't avoid this, and it pains me to say it, but: he probably has way too much fashion sense.  I mean, just look at that picture, what with the co-ordinated colours and everything.  Can you see any leather patches on that overcoat?  Where's the Wallace and Gromit novelty tie?  And of course he's way too good looking.  I'm all for building up the image of math(s) teachers but this is setting the bar way too high.  Shouldn't he at least have specs?  (Later on in the movie we see JD's character Frank wearing blue pyjamas with a white stripe, but even this doesn't help, as the Deppster is a man who can look cool even in cotton jim-jams.)

Secondly, and more importantly, does he act like a math(s) teacher?  In three words: nope, nope, (and) nope.  Not once in the movie does our hero mark any jotters.  Not once.  We first meet him on a train, where he has a table to himself and he's sat reading a book.  Hello?  Shouldn't he have some orange jotters about him, and be half-way through a back-log of Higher homework?  I think so.  And while we're here, that book he's reading?  Crime novel.  Crime novel.  Shouldn't it be The Doctor Who Episode Guide?

I hate to say it, but I think someone somewhere plucked "math teacher" out of a list of random occupations, when the question was asked regarding JD's background, and that was it.  There is not one bit (I'm actually being serious here) in the film where anything at all is made of him being a teacher, let alone a Queen of the Sciences one.  So, um, why bother?  If you're going to make him a math(s) teacher, then at least do it properly.

Yes, Frank, but what if it's not a right-angled triangle?
Far be it from me to suggest script changes, but when they first meet on the train, couldn't we have had a bit where Johnny explains Pythagoras' Theorem to Angelina on the back of a napkin?  Would that have been so hard?  As things are, we don't even see him doing so much as dividing by two when working out the bill.  Yeesh.

So, final mark: 3 out of 5, and see me for more homework.

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