Release Date: March 22nd, 2016 (via NoBudge.com)
Director: Jake Remington
Run Time: 27 minutes
A cynical New Yorkian jaunt through an ever-increasing tailspin of self-destruction of one man longing for the old days, reminiscent of the Travis Bickle’s diatribe of frustration and disgust in Taxi Driver; although, Jim’s incensed demeanor travels in the opposite, instead of being directed at “the scum, the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit” , Jim’s irritation is directed at the resulting personalities of that proverbial “real rain” that washed all the scum off the streets – the dentists with their nest eggs; the selfie-stick camaraderie of twenty-somethings; the death tourists commemorating their trips with cellphone pictures for that new facebook photo album, etc.
The visual style of The Tourist is a shuffled deck of tandem suits – realism through hidden-camera-uncomfortable and soft-focus travelogue/introspection – in a back and forth succession as Sonnenblick’s inner monologue pulsates with a seething resentment and anger that, at first, appears surface level given his current situation before gradually revealing itself to be a much more deep-seeded operating mode. Though, Sonnenblick is able to periodically meld that resentment and anger into some genuine comedic expressions during his rambles.
The soundtrack’s deployment also strengthens the nature of this burrowing, starting out with the laid-back jazz tones synonymous with nocturnal strolls through the refracted coins of light on the streets of NYC before working its way to its destination – the modern sounds of an abrasive onslaught of contorted noise.
Remington and Sonnenblick combine for (about) 25 minutes of pure positives, every aspect a resounding success in terms of execution and presentation, only to have that accrued goodwill sullied within the last two lines of dialogue; but, then again, that could be chalked up to my sensitivity to using derogatory epithets.