Just for the opening scene, a masterful tribute to Steven Spielberg, this amnesiac thriller is worth a look.
Accidented on the road, a mysterious stranger who has lost his memory runs after his past. Which is obviously not very glorious. All this in the Australian Outback desert.
The amnesic thriller is not so innovative. Of Jason Bourne at Goodbye foreverpassing by the cop show blind spot, the genre has already been widely tested on the small and the big screen. But The Tourist manages to breathe new ideas into it, thanks, essentially, to the chiseled writing of the duo Harry and Jack Williams. The creators of Liar Where Baptist are behind The Touristpresented at the 61st Monte-Carlo Television Festival this weekend, before its French broadcast, from this Monday evening, on France 2.
And the British brothers had a brilliant idea to start their series: to pay a spectacular tribute to Steven Spielberg and his Duel (from 1971). The opening scene thus presents us with a man, who drives quietly on the long roads of the Australian desert. Suddenly, a heavyweight appears in his retro, a faceless threat that rushes at full speed and seems to want to chase him! Brilliantly staged, this ten-minute opening sequence launches The Tourist with force and fury, and immediately puts us in the mood.
The Outback sun burns our retinas as much as it burns the skin of the protagonists. The thick heat makes us run drops of sweat on the forehead. An arid setting as possible which was already doing wonders in Mystery Road (on Arte) and which offers an ideal scenography for a gallery of whimsical characters. Jamie Dornanfar, from his evenings 50 Shades of Gray, makes a perfect John Doe, as clueless as he is charismatic. With Danielle Macdonald and Shalom Brune-Franklin, they form a crazy, almost burlesque trio, which we follow with real jubilation over the revelations.
From episode to episode, each time we learn a little more about this stranger in search of himself. An anti-hero who we quickly understand hides a dubious past… In an atmosphere of black comedy or tragicomic thriller, this tourist takes us on a fascinating journey. And after exploding audiences across the Channel on the BBC, the series could just as well be a good hit here.
The Tourist, in 6 episodes, will be broadcast in two evenings (3 episodes each evening), this Monday and Monday, June 27, on France 2.