The gang of tourists in this movie really wished they had stayed home and so did I. Turistas is the newest release in the “stupid young adults who just want to party, but get captured and tortured instead” genre.
Alex (Josh Duhamel) has reluctantly accompanied his younger sister (Olivia Wilde) and her friend (Beau Garrett) through their stereotypically wild adventure through Brazil. After the bus ride from hell and the vehicle itself rolling down an embankment, the trio meets Pru, Finn, and Liam (Melissa George, Desmond Askew, and Max Brown) who share their circumstances. Obviously, they are stranded. Rather than get the next gravy train out of town, they decide to stay there and hang out at a remote oceanside bar, thanks to a tip from two young girls walking by with drinks. Mistake #1! What you would think would normally happen does. There are random hookups, dancing, and a lot of drinking. New friends they thought they made turn out to lead them to their impending doom. The residents think they are nothing but trouble and don’t really try to help, which is a ruse for them being in on the whole thing. The one resident who has a basic knowledge of English (Agles Steib) tells them that he has a safe house for them to go to, and proceeds to hike them all through the jungle and through some underwater caves. Mistake # 2!
So, they get to this house, and predictably, they get surrounded and captured. Once you learn the true reason for these kids being held hostage, you lose all of any remote interest you may have had with the plot. The “huge revelation” was apparent, but the rationale is so nonchalant, it was like you were sitting in a History 101 lecture. You spend the rest of the time knowing someone’s going to get it next and how the others will get out of there, because that’s what always happens in these movies. Someone always gets out alive.
This movie is loaded with language errors. “Gringos” (how the residents refer to the tourists) and “hola” (What Pru calls out as a general greeting) are typically Spanish phrases. This movie takes place (in case you forgot) in a country in which they speak Portuguese, people! They even bring that very notion up in the film! At least they could attempt to get the language and some of the customs right! How the movie portrayed the Brazilian people and their attitude towards visitors was completely deplorable and ignorant. Bottom line, I bet that after this movie, the Brazilian tourism board will be pretty pissed off.
While I gave it a star and a half, the half star comes from the three lone shocking moments. Suffice to say, I’ll be even more careful when I eat from a skewer now. Either way, it was a stupid and pointless movie that the studio could have sent straight to DVD, and no one would be the wiser.
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