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Overall Rating
2.08

Awesome: 4%
Worth A Look: 12%
Just Average: 2%
Pretty Crappy52%
Sucks: 30%

6 reviews, 14 user ratings


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Turistas (2006)
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by Erik Childress

"Lost For Dummies"
2 stars

It’s become a bit of a running joke amongst friends of mine that I’m not up for trying new things. I prefer to think of it as an evolvement; knowing thusly what I already enjoy, what I don’t and my willingness to pay for something I can already see sucking ahead of time. They just think of me as a mutant of another sort. In my head I can see the conversation that may occur for vacation plans much like the folk in Turistas. “Hey Erik, we’re thinking of backpacking through Brazil with no discernable destination but we’re going to take a bus ride instead of a plane to get there. What do you say?” The strident “NO” would have come sometime around the word “backpacking” and that would have been even before I saw Turistas, which jumps on the Hostel wagon of discouraging American tourists to stay in their own backyard where they can at least avoid the social commentary while getting their organs removed.

The Childress doppelganger for the film would be Alex (Las VegasJosh Duhamel), right down to his good looks and “told you so” attitude as his sister, Bea (Olivia Wilde) and her friend, Amy (Beau Garrett) ride a bus driven by a dude who’d be more at home recklessly driving a taxi through downtown Chicago. Avoiding some pedestrians, the bus makes the acquaintance of a cliff’s edge and every man, woman and child still manage to get out before it tumbles over the side. Meeting up with Brazilian-speakin’ Aussie, Pru (Melissa George) and vacationing Brits, Finn (Desmond Askew) and Liam (Max Brown), the six-pack decide not to wait for another bus and instead stumble upon a most beautiful chunk of beach complete with its own bar, women and dancing.

The next morning though, the beach has all but been abandoned and only the six of them remain having been drugged and completely robbed. They find Kiko (Agles Steib) one of their new friends from the previous night and he guides them through the jungles to a lovely cliff-diving and underwater cave exploration spot where, so desperate for a good time, the gang has all but forgotten they have nothing but the clothes they take off to go swimming. I’m not saying they should have known that a nutty doctor (Miguel Lunardi) is out there taking the kidney urban legend and the current season of Lost to progressive lengths, but when you’re in alien territory and someone you’ve never met tells you to run, it’s time to move your ass.

Director John Stockwell takes his sweet time though getting to the carnage. I’m sure in his mind its the way of listening to the criticisms of horror films never establishing a concern for its characters and it works to some degree in keeping the grisle to a minimum. But horror fans don’t want that and more hoity-toity types are inclined to get bored as well. He sneaks in a couple moments of carnage in that first hour, one of which undermines the doctor’s own case about American superiority and his thesis on organ donation lists. Having seen him vaccinate lines of children, is Stockwell and screenwriter Michael Ross asking us to pay close attention to the expository speech he gives; coldly justifying his methods as the anesthesia to put his subjects to sleep.

The comparisons to Hostel are by the numbers. Even the word is referred to at one point. There was something to me far less annoying than Eli Roth’s ill-designed directorial jumble of moods and gore. Neither Roth nor Stockwell have an ounce of suspense blood in them, but the latter plays his material completely straight and attempts to discomfort us without resorting to cheap or inappropriate laughs. The final half hour begins with a surgery and continues with a series of escape sequences and comuppances satisfyingly enough for audiences who remembered to bring their night vision goggles. A nighttime bust-out in the rain is so shady that I lost track on the fate of one of the characters until she showed up later immune to the effects of hypothermia. Stockwell’s grandiose set piece, an underwater chase, does have a certain pizzazz to it forcing Wilde to outswim one of the doctor’s crew as both come up to inch-wide air pockets and sucking water bubbles for sustanince, but it’s more of a look-at-me piece rather than a carefully constructed build-up of suspense.

For his next project, Stockwell should take the same advice Sharon Stone gave to James Cameron in The Muse and just stay away from the water. After Blue Crush, Into the Blue and this, the bikini bottoms are getting shorter and the swimming scenes are getting longer. Olivia Wilde even tries to out Jessica Alba in virtually the same swimsuit she wore in Stockwell’s last speedo-challenged opus. How these chicks are able to pull off greater free swims than Ed Harris’ in The Abyss are beyond comprehension. But so is why anyone would head into territory with the knowledge that the police are more corrupt than the criminal element which is practically a tourist attraction unto itself. Duhamel should know that you can just stay in Vegas and get your kidney removed while getting robbed in a club populated by ladies in bikinis. At least there you’d know where you were and (most) people speak English.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15287&reviewer=198
originally posted: 12/01/06 00:18:30
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell boring hostel rip off 1 stars
11/18/09 mr.mike Was no bad on cable 4 stars
9/02/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
6/02/08 mike terrible waste of time. long wait for gore and very little shown. LAME 1 stars
10/23/07 Ivana Mann Underrated chiller-effectively creepy, tension builds up slowly. 4 stars
5/24/07 David Pollastrini Cave scenes gave me claustrophobia. 4 stars
5/24/07 Indrid Cold A moderately interesting adventure story that eventually fizzles out. 2 stars
4/05/07 Vince Tense horror movie. Cave scenes at end excellent. Oh, and some boobies too. 4 stars
4/01/07 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
1/25/07 Jeff Anderson Begins strongly & contains moments of real terror, then RAPIDLY goes downhill & gets stupid 2 stars
12/12/06 jdean62 A waste of my time !! ending sucked ! dont go!!!! 1 stars
12/07/06 sharks1947 First half had promise, poor lightin ruined it 4 stars
12/06/06 Luke As average as movies get. No reason to check this out again. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Dec-2006 (R)
  DVD: 27-Mar-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
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Directed by
  John Stockwell

Written by
  Michael Ross

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



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