DIRECTOR Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck goes all out for oldstyle glamour in this deliberate attempt to hark back to a more sophisticated era of crime caper.
And he pulls it off admirably, any sillinesses of plot more than made up for by the sheer luxuriousness of the setting and the shining starriness of its stars.
Johnny Depp is an American tourist in Paris alone, travelling to put behind him the death of his wife.
Not surprisingly, he can’t quite believe what’s happening when the mysteriously-alluring Angelina Jolie tempts him off to Venice. Cue endless mouth-watering shots of canals and gondolas, plus sumptuous hotels, all dazzlingly shot.
In amongst them all, it emerges that Jolie is trying to pass Depp off as her boyfriend in order to shake off his pursuers.
He’s been a very naughty boy, stealing millions and millions from a particularly savage bunch of gangsters. Also on his tail are Scotland Yard.
The boys in blue realise Depp isn’t their man; the Russkies fall for the ruse – much to Depp’s discomfort. Cue endless chases along rooftops and canals, Depp having a ball as he mixes threat with the quirky humour he does so well.
Every now and again, he seems just about to swagger into Captain Jack Sparrow.
It’s all implausible nonsense, but it’s all good fun, light and escapist, never taking itself too seriously, always intent on offering us something lovely to look at.
Superficial and daft, maybe, but it’s also enjoyable right the waythrough.
By Phil Hewitt
On DVD from Blockbuster, 101 mins