Culture » Film



The Tourist (PG-13)

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's benumbed The Tourist has the languorous bloat of one of those unwatchable international co-productions from the 1960s, sort of a Topkapi on Oxycontin. It's a remake of a French action film set in Italy, starring American actors, and directed by a German making her Hollywood debut — perhaps something got lost in the translations? Johnny Depp stars as an American schoolteacher vacationing in Europe who gets accosted on a train by Angelina Jolie. Depp's character is mistaken for a wanted criminal, chased by Belarusian thugs, thrown in a Venice jail and embroiled in an unusually dull government conspiracy. Jolie and Depp reportedly have had an easygoing friendship, but it never shows up on screen; instead, they appear to barely tolerate each other, even when their characters are supposed to be falling in love. — Daniel Barnes


Urgency (NR)

Entertainment One

Brian Austin Green: rapper. OK, yeah, at first that took a little getting used to, but eventually America put aside its jokes and mostly accepted 90210's David Silver as the hip-hop B-boy we knew he could be. But, 20 (!) years later, I'm less forgiving and accommodating, so I have a harder time buying Green as an action star, especially with that fey goatee he seems to be fond of sporting. He's a pharmaceutical executive whose wife has been kidnapped by a rival company in an effort to score a secret anti-cancer drug. Urgency feels like a less ambitious variation of Crank, with Green driving around in his car and talking on his cell phone a lot as he tries to solve the inane mystery. It's enough to make you say to hell with it and long for the old days, when a nation blasted Green's "Beauty and Da Beats" at top volume without a care in the world. — Louis Fowler


Shadow (NR)

IFC Films

What the Hell did I just watch? No, seriously, I need someone to explain it. Let me recap: Ultra-sensitive Iraq War vet mountain bikes in some vaguely European landscape, where he runs into a violent redneck Aussie and his guffawing fat buddy. They proceed to hunt him and his newfound girlfriend, also vaguely European, deeper into the encroaching forest. With me so far? They are all captured by a nightmarish, twisted, skeletal, wizened sadist who straps them to Hibachi-style tables and tortures them by cutting off eyelids and spraying Zyklon-B in the room. Is he a Nazi? Or is he a Nazi-fetishist? Or did he just wander off the set of the latest Marilyn Manson video? It's never really explained — hell, even after the diabolically rage-inducing "twist ending," nothing's explained. I almost want to watch it again, but it's probably for the best if I just let Shadow be. — Louis Fowler

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast