A stakeout is underway by the British Secret Service in Paris. They watch as a beautiful and exquisitely dressed English woman leaves her hotel room and walks to a nearby café. This woman is Elise Clifton-Ward (played by Angelina Jolie), she settles in at her table and places her regular order. Her lover is Alexander Pearce, an international criminal wanted around the world. Elise is being watched in the hope that she will lead the police to Alexander. At the cafe, a courier delivers a letter from Alexander to Elise that instructs her to board the train for Venice and befriend any man who fits his description. On the train she chooses Frank Tupelo (by Johnny Depp), an American tourist. They have dinner aboard the train and by the time they reach Venice, she has mystified and enchanted him so much that he complies with her every whim – they book into the same hotel. The police team, lead by Inspector John Acheson (by Paul Bettany) and his boss Chief Inspector Jones (by Timothy Dalton) take the bait. Because no photographs are available of Alexander, Acheson thinks Frank is him so sets about to prove it, then to capture him. However, the real Alexander proves no easy catch and to complicate things, a mole in the British police who thinks they’ve found Alexander tips off gangster Reginald Shaw (by Steven Berkoff) who is also keen to find him to avenge for a huge mega-million dollar swindle he was victim to at Alexander’s hands. What has Frank got himself involved in? Will he fall for this remarkable mysterious woman? and who will get to the real Alexander first?
This is a beautifully crafted movie. Both Paris and Venice are showcased in their glory, particularly Venice – it looks stunning. Angelina Jolie is styled beautifully throughout, her costumes and makeup are flawless and this role is perfect for her as an eloquent, rich and classy woman who is accustomed to the finer things in life. Similarly, the role of Frank Tupelo is perfect for Johnny Depp. A little dishevelled, but wickedly handsome and peppered with wry humour, his performance is marvellous. Paul Bettany is also good as the leader of the team of British police who are portrayed as “bumbling buffoons who can’t seem to get anything right”. However, it is a long stretch to describe this movie as an ‘action thriller’ – that it is not. The action scenes are rather tame and overall the movie presents more like a James Bond comedy spy movie, than a real action thriller – but that’s not a problem. The movie is enjoyable and there are twists which keep you interested. It’s an entertaining movie.
Made in 2010. Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck