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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Strangers on a Train

The Tourist on IMDb

Plot Overview

apple and booksWisconsin math teacher Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp) is escaping his mundane existence by tramping around Europe on holiday. He is chatted up on the train from Paris to Venise “the city of lovers” by seasoned under­cover agent Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) who's on suspension for having questionable loyalties following her last assignment. She'd penetrated mob banker Stephen Pearce who's now in hiding from his vindictive boss Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff,) having stolen from him £2.3 billion—£24 million of which he spent for serious plastic surgery. Interpol is also after him for £744 million owed England in taxes. They are watching Elise to see if he makes contact with her. They quickly rule out Frank, but a mole inside their agency hastily fingers him to the mob boss who sends out a hit team. Frank is clingy with this dame and finds him­self dangerously under­foot in the high intrigue. It's the risky business of love as aptly described in a Jonathan Stone novel:

She smiles. “Love. That's clearly buyers and sellers. Short-term traders and long-term investors. Show me any moment in any relation­ship. Any moment of friction. Any moment of tension. I'll show you a buyer and a seller. Maybe they'll flip positions in the next moment. But in that moment, it's a buyer and a seller. Because it's a need, a want, expressed to some­one who it is assumed or hoped can some­how ful­fill it. That's buy and sell.” (221)


Cupid's dartThough these two are from different worlds, it's hinted they have much in common should easy Elise want a like man on the rebound. Her Pearce “smoked to excess,” and she spots Frank smoking an e–cigarette. Pearce was a guy who did as he pleased, and Frank has let his hair grow out past the border of convention. We later see Pearce's apartment lined with over­flowing book­shelves, and Frank was discovered with his nose in a book. In fact he and Elise will discuss the meanings of similar-sounding multi-syllable words like a couple of book nerds. Elise is to rendezvous with Pearce at a formal ball. bugs
waltzing Extended camera shots have shown her sashaying down the street like a ball­room dancer. Frank courteously helps a woman off the train with her bags, and he maintains his balance stepping onto a moving boat, as some­one who may have developed courtesies and balance from ball­room dance. I'm just saying don't write them off.

Of course it would be up to provincial Frank to somehow make it happen with sophisticated Elise, but the movie reminds us of, (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.” The hard to track “eagle in the air” is here represented by Shaw who receives a message in flight from his mole telling him where supposedly Pearce is heading. He speaks to the captain telling him, “Change of course. Venice.” air
mail plane And the plane heads off in a new direction.

“The way of a serpent upon a rock” is here represented by Frank fleeing barefoot the goons sent by Shaw, running on the tiles from roof­top to roof­top. It's hard to guess his exact route, which he develops on the fly.

“The way of a ship in the midst of the sea” is here represented by Elise in a motor launch towing another boat through the canals of Venice, with Frank secured in the latter and the bad guys shooting at them from the streets.

The upshot is we're not going to figure out “the way of a man with a maid” either, if in fact Frank even has a game plan and is not just ad libbing as he goes.

Production Values

” (2010) was directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Its screenplay was written by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie, and Julian Fellowes. The story rotates among the baddies, the couple, and the cops, so we suppose the three writers were appropriately accommodated. It stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie as leads. It also features Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, and Rufus Sewell. Jolie and Depp were in fine form with ambiguous chemistry until their concoction changed color. The supporting cast did well with what they'd been given. Sewell surreptitiously appears as a hovering mystery man.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for violence and brief strong language. The production values elevate this picture to very pleasurable viewing with its elegant costumes, exotic locale, and blended dance music.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

“The Tourist” has the most satisfying ending you'll find anywhere (“It'll do.”) I'm not even sure we'd want a sequel, although the bromide don't talk to strangers could use some rehabilitating. It was an exciting mystery caper if you don't mind the romance lagging behind, trying to play catchup.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Stone, Jonathan. Breakthrough. Copyright © 2013 by Jonathan Stone. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2013. Print.