Anthony Zimmer

So did you see the Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie ‘thriller’ called The Tourist back in 2010. I did and I didn’t think much of it. My review is here. Well, The Tourist was the remake of this film called Anthony Zimmer.

Zimmer is an international criminal. He’s been on the wanted list of the French police for some time. He not only steals money from the Russian mafia, but he’s a professional money-launderer as well. Needless to say, the police as well as the Russian gangsters are after him.

But Zimmer has gone to ground, and after extensive plastic surgery, he not only looks completely different but sounds different as well. Which basically means that neither the police nor the gangsters will have a clue as to what he now looks like.

There’s one narrow way to capture him. Tail his girl friend. Because she is so special, the police assume that Zimmer would never be able to walk away from her. At least not forever. But she won’t know what he looks like either.

There’s your set up. This film is a stylish thriller in the sense that chases, gunplay, and mysterious identity switches are always fun. Hitchcock did it with great success in North By Northwest in 1959. The Tourist came out in 2010 and was met with mostly negative reviews by the critics. Lodged between those films both in time and in merit is Anthony Zimmer which was written and directed by Jerome Salle.

The film begins with a woman arriving at the Gare de Lyon Railroad Station in Paris as the prelim to the meeting on the high-speed train. Instead of heading to Venice, we arrive in Cannes, France and set up at the luxurious Hotel Carlton. Later, we will move on to Hotel Negresco in Nice, France. The stars in Anthony Zimmer are Yvan Attal, Sophie Marceau, and Sami Frey who will remind you of Tommy Lee Jones.

Marceau as Chiara is a real stunning woman. It takes her no more than a few moments to charm the socks off of Francoise Taillendier, who is the man on the train that she randomly selects. Yvan Attal passes himself off as the nerdy Taillandier with an acceptable performance. Frey as the French detective Akerman has all of the no-nonsense, one-note, won’t be deterred perseverance that is required for the role. Everyone else is low-impact; even Daniel Olbrychski as the Russian mob boss Nassaiev.

The film is rather expertly shot. There’s plenty of beautiful shot compositions, good pacing, great locations, and luxurious rich color for the eyes to feast on. As with The Tourist, the story itself requires great leaps of faith to accept it as possible and probable. But like the Tourist, the framework is too unlikely for you to think of it with the idea of watching the film a second or third time. The suspension of disbelief can only you take you so far.

But if I must rate this film, I’ll certainly give this one higher marks than I did for The Tourist. There’s a simple reason for that. Anthony Zimmer plays as a straight Romantic Thriller, clearly without comedic intent; whereas The Tourist played as a Romance, a thriller, with intended light bits that failed as comedic content.

For the record, North By Northwest also played as a romance and a thriller with comedy, but it’s tongue-in-cheek comedic parts were just great.

Three point zero is the rating. I watched the film via Netflix streaming service.