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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4%
Worth A Look: 12%
Average: 2%
Pretty Bad52%
Total Crap: 30%

6 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Turistas (2006)
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by EricDSnider

"It's like I always say: Never trust a Brazilian."
2 stars

Regardless of your expectations of it, I don't see how "Turistas" can fail to disappoint you. You're in the mood for some torture porn, a la "Saw" or "Hostel"? Surprise! There isn't any! You get one scene -- ONE SCENE! -- of someone being hacked up, and even then, the victim is under anesthesia and the hacking is done antiseptically, even medically.

So maybe instead you're hoping for a taut psychological thriller, comparable to "Deliverance," where the actual violence is minimal but the tension is high? Surprise! It fails there, too. The characters are (as they almost always are in these films) one-dimensional stereotypes whose only motivations are to have sex and to avoid being killed. And wouldn't you know it, most of them fail at that, too.

The film is set in Brazil and was shot on location by director John Stockwell, whose "Blue Crush" and "Into the Blue" also made use of beautiful locations and actors who refuse to wear anything but bathing suits. "Turistas" is infused with Brazilian sights and sounds -- the beaches, the music, the friendly people -- and actually made me want to go there. Apart from all the killing and the general message of "Never trust a foreigner," it would make a good travel brochure.

Our heroes are six young people -- three Americans, two Brits and an Australian -- who have come to Brazil in search of drinking, recreation, and indiscriminate sexual encounters. An American girl (Olivia Wilde) is chaperoned by her worry-wart brother (Josh Duhamel) and accompanied by her trashy best friend (Beau Garrett); the Australian (Melissa George) is a world traveler who speaks fluent Portuguese; the Brits (Max Brown and Desmond Askew) are randy fellows who just want to meet girls.

A bus accident leaves the six stranded, but they join forces and wander onto a hidden beach that evidently isn't all that hidden after all, since it has a fully stocked bar and raging nightly parties. Then somehow they eventually wind up in a crazy house where crazy people want to do crazy things to them.

I'm skipping a lot, but believe me, you'll wish the movie had skipped a lot, too. The film's very first images are a flash-forward to much later, when a female victim is strapped down and apparently about to be eviscerated. It is 60 minutes before the movie actually arrives at that point in the narrative, giving us a full hour to endure the tourists partying, talking, flirting with each other, passing out, arguing, walking, being lost, and taking their shirts off. It's a 95-minute movie in which 50 minutes are padding.

The screenplay (by previously uncredited writer Michael Ross) further errs by including scenes with the villains as they plot to abduct the tourists. By giving the audience information that the main characters aren't privy to, much of the mystery and suspense is lost. It would be better if we had no idea what was in store, rather than being teased with it. This is especially true since what we're teased with -- rampant bloody mayhem and terror -- never actually materializes.

The movie is what it is. The question is, is it good at being what it is? And the answer is no. I never thought I'd complain that a movie wasn't violent and awful enough, but when a film sets out to be violent and awful, it really ought to follow through.

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originally posted: 12/01/06 17:55:40
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell boring hostel rip off 1 stars
11/19/09 mr.mike Was no bad on cable 4 stars
9/03/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
6/03/08 mike terrible waste of time. long wait for gore and very little shown. LAME 1 stars
10/24/07 Ivana Mann Underrated chiller-effectively creepy, tension builds up slowly. 4 stars
5/25/07 David Pollastrini Cave scenes gave me claustrophobia. 4 stars
5/25/07 Indrid Cold A moderately interesting adventure story that eventually fizzles out. 2 stars
4/06/07 Vince Tense horror movie. Cave scenes at end excellent. Oh, and some boobies too. 4 stars
4/02/07 action movie fan not bad wolf creek-hostel imitation-engrossing story a bit gruesome though 4 stars
3/29/07 Johnny Martillan its very nice especially the effects of the, its look like areal things.... 5 stars
1/26/07 Jeff Anderson Begins strongly & contains moments of real terror, then RAPIDLY goes downhill & gets stupid 2 stars
12/13/06 jdean62 A waste of my time !! ending sucked ! dont go!!!! 1 stars
12/08/06 sharks1947 First half had promise, poor lightin ruined it 4 stars
12/07/06 Luke As average as movies get. No reason to check this out again. 3 stars
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  01-Dec-2006 (R)
  DVD: 27-Mar-2007



Directed by
  John Stockwell

Written by
  Michael Ross

  Josh Duhamel
  Melissa George
  Olivia Wilde
  Desmond Askew
  Beau Garrett
  Max Brown

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