A murder rocks a South Korean town and suspicion quickly falls on a reclusive, mentally challenged — and alibi-free — young man (Bin Won). When an inept public defender botches the boy’s case, his mother (Hye-ja Kim) sets out to prove her son’s innocence. Acclaimed director Joon-ho Bong (Memories of Murder) explores the lengths a mother will go to protect her child in this atmospheric crime thriller.
Rating: 8 out of 10
The story of a parent or family member trying to prove the innocence of another is nothing new. In fact, Hilary Swank has a film coming out with that exact same premise called “Conviction.”
But director Joon-ho Bong, who made the outstanding monster movie “The Host,” takes some interesting twists and turns in this smart, patiently developed film starring Hye-ja Kim, who is the Meryl Streep of South Korea, as the leader character simply named Mother. In her search to prove the innocence of her son in the murder of a young girl she overturns some dark stones and grasps at thin straws, even turning on friends and family.
She’s not a likable or saintly figure, and the story unfolds her own dark past and problems. It’s a fresh take on a familiar formula to American audiences with a strong cast and characters in a compelling script.
Watery Venice, Italy, provides the setting as Johnny Depp, playing an American tourist seeking solace for his shattered heart, instead finds it in danger again after encountering a beautiful Interpol agent (Angelina Jolie). Little does the Yank know that the artful lady has gone to great lengths to arrange their “chance” meeting and is using him to trap a thief who happens to be her ex-lover. The film earned Golden Globe nods for Depp and Jolie.
Rating: 3 out of 10
“The Tourist” should have been a good movie, maybe even great. Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in a caper through the romantic canals of Venice is a great set up. But something was missing. Chemistry, I guess.
The storyline was good enough. It starts in Paris where she is being watched by Interpol. She gets a letter from a mysterious man, hops on a train, and per his instructions picks up a look-a-like – Johnny. Depp plays a bumbling American math teacher, set against Angie’s cool, very together Brit. But from here it drags. The action never really takes off (and neither do those molasses-style boat chases) and the intrigue isn’t really that intriguing.
Johnny is better than Angie. He’s a bit charming and a little funny. She doesn’t have a moment of levity, though. It’s also odd to see her looking old and too thin.
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Tagged action, adventure, Angelina Jolie, Christian De Sica, Cinema, espionage, Film, Golden Globes, Johnny Depp, Mother, movie review, movies, Paul Bettany, Ralf Moeller, Raoul Bova, Rufus Sewell, spy movie, Steven Berkoff, The Tourist, Timothy Dalton