Here’s the set-up: guy meets girl, guy almost gets killed because of girl. In this basic storyline we see Elise Ward (Angelina Jolie) is being watched by the French Police, and gets a mysterious letter from an even more mysterious Alexander Pearce. She is told to get rid of the cops and take a train to Venice. She does so, and meets Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp) on the train. She was also instructed to find a man with the same height and build as Pearce and make the cops think this decoy is the real thing. Angelina hooks her charms into Frank, and he almost immediately falls in love with her and keeps coming back to help her out of close-to-death situations. Soon, people think Frank is Alexander Pearce, and a bounty is put on him. Everyone tries to hand Frank over to the gangsters Pearce had stolen money from, but Frank always gets away. It becomes an international cat and mouse game which takes unexpected turns.
The movie is beautifully shot in Venice. The scenery is gorgeous, and each location within Venice was more beautiful than the last. It also gave homage to old spy movies and Hitchcock movies. I did like the fact that the movie mixed both old and new technologies. For example, we see an entire scene where a man meets a mysterious woman on the train. Then the next second, you have several international police forces tracking people through facial recognition technologies. It does mix the two seamlessly and without any jumpiness. Overall, it’s a beautiful movie.
The abstract idea of this movie is good. But literally, the movie is what it is. Honestly, it lacks umph. A lot of umph. If things blew up, more people got killed, and I saw either one of the stars kick some foreign butt, then yes, it would have been pretty good. But there’s a total lack of action. It starts of good, and then goes limp because it can’t save itself from itself. And anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Johnny Depp, and he was so VANILLA in this movie, it almost hurt me to see him in this role. His accent confused me too because it was slightly Jack Sparrow, but was supposed to be American. Did he forget how to speak with an American accent? Angelina looked beautiful in gowns and beautiful designer dresses, but the 60 second pan in on her butt was unnecessary. As was the question by the police if they thought she was wearing underwear or not.
The movie starts out slow, and finishes even slower. I kept looking at my watch to see when I can leave. Not your best, Johnny. Sorry, my love, but this is the FIRST movie I did not like you in. Stick to Tim Burton and Pirates of the Caribbean films, and you’ll be ok. Angelina, maybe you should just stick to saving the world’s children.