(M) Sony DVD/BD
Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie seem like a match made in Hollywood heaven. Alas, putting two celebrities in an exotic location like Venice without a convincing story was perhaps the film maker’s first mistake.
Hitchcock made a career out of placing the wrong person in the wrong place — North By Northwest and Notorious come to mind — and the formula is now a well worn, perhaps threadbare cliché.
Elise (Jolie) is on the run from Scotland Yard after receiving a note from her lover (who has stolen millions and changed his appearance via plastic surgery). She is instructed to find a complete stranger who looks similar to his original appearance and convince those tailing her that he is her lover. She picks Frank (Depp) a maths teacher from America.
So far the plot is fairly standard Hitchcock and Frank goes along with the ruse because he leads a somewhat uneventful life and is smitten by Elise.
What frustrates about the film is that it is never more than a glossy catalogue with well-dressed stars. We do have Depp traipsing across roof shingles in his pyjamas, upturning fruit carts during chase scenes and a lot of people getting pushed into the water — pratfalls that would make Captain Jack Sparrow proud.