THE TOURIST, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp

This is more of a photo-shoot-with-a-plot than a movie.  Like a magazine spread with a gangster theme. I say that because there are endless shots of Ms. Jolie walking languidly in form-fitting clothes, posing this way, then that.  Long, loving attention is given to her backside as she sways slowly away on five-inch heels.  Unsubtle commentary about her figure from the men who are surveilling her. And so forth.

I agree that Angelina is deeply, unusually beautiful. And I’m not saying that there isn’t a call for a movie that simply dwells on that beauty. One imagines a documentary called Ageless Angie or Beauty and the Brad, but whatever.  I’m saying it’s a bit much, and if I were making a suggestion to a young man about a movie to take his girl to, it would not be this one. The poor guy is likely to drool all over himself, prompting his girlfriend to have deep, pensive second thoughts about him.

Ms. Jolie plays Elise Clifton-Ward as a smoldering beauty in love with a thief, Alexander Pearce, who has bilked the British Treasury out of back taxes to the tune of £700,000,000. The Brits want their money, and I don’t blame them as this is about a billion bucks, and these are hard times, Mr. Obama’s comment about the recession being over last year notwithstanding. Pearce seems to owe this money on account of scamming another thug out of 2.3 billion pounds. It’s as though Mr. Madoff owes the government taxes on the money he stole. Is this true? If I rob a bank do I owe taxes on my take? If they recover the principal, do I still owe the taxes on it? And how do I report this on my 1040?

Anyway, back to the story: To throw off those who are looking for Elise’s inamorato, Elise is directed to find someone the same height and build of this Alexander.  She will then cozy up to this man and Scotland Yard will be fooled into thinking that Mr. Similar is actually Mr. Pearce.

This is where Johnny Depp comes in as Frank Tupelo, a Wisconsin math teacher on holiday. His sweet comic bumbling is the perfect foil to Elise’s slow, provocative dance. Good thing, too. If he had been dashing and suave instead of playful and ill-at-ease, I might have fallen asleep in my seat.

There’s a boat chase or two through the waterways of Venice, some rooftop scrambling, a fun fall into a fruit market, and other things of that sort. Ms. Jolie appears in many different lovely outfits from casual traveling clothes to a truly stunning black ball gown. Frankly, she’s just showing off if you ask me. Of course, if I looked like her, I would do the same, all the time, everywhere, and with loads of diamonds around my throat too, so I don’t blame her.

The ending is a little quirky, but it’s not terrible. It could even be called sweet.

This is an okay movie if you like this sort of thing: not an action thriller, not a romance, not a comedy, not a drama. I’m not sure what it is, except that it’s not actually bad, and the people are pretty.

There is one scene of disturbing violence in which a man is strangled to death, which sort of wrecked the whole comic façade of this sort-of cute movie.  There’s no skin, although there is a little bit of lace. A little bit of kissing, and there’s a little bit of language.  Sort of a throw-away movie, really. See it if you have nothing better to do.