Surprisingly Suspenseful, But Gory and Excessive
Release Date: December 01, 2006
Starring: Josh Duhamel, Melissa George,
Olivia Wilde, Desmond Askew,
Beau Garrity, Max Brown, Agles
Steib, and Miguel Lunardi
Genre: Horror Thriller
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 89 minutes
Distributor: Fox Atomic/20th Century Fox
Director: John Stockwell
Executive Producer: Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban and
Producer: Scott Steindorff, Bo Zenga,
Marc Butan, and John Stockwell
Writer: Michael Arlen Ross
Address Comments To:Rupert Murdoch
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen/CEO
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
The movie opens on a rural road in Brazil, where a bus driver carelessly sends his bus over a cliff. The passengers, including several tourists and local citizens, barely escape with their lives.
While the tourists wait for a new bus, two beautiful Brazilian pedestrians walk by them, eating some luscious-looking melons. The tourists, including three Americans, a beautiful Australian woman, and two blokes from England, decide to visit the ramshackle beachfront bar where the girls got the melons. There, they meet two other tourists from Sweden and more Brazilians, including a young man named Kiko. They decide not to wait for the next bus, but keep partying at the cheap, but inviting bar.
The next morning, however, the tourists from the bus wake to find they have been drugged, with all their stuff stolen and the two Swedish tourists gone. Unknown to the tourists, the Swedes are murdered by a gang of cutthroats led by a mysterious, psychopathic doctor named Zamora.
While looking for help, the tourists get into trouble in the local village. Who should show up to save them but Kiko. He promises to take them to his uncle's house, but the house is hidden hours away in the jungle. It also happens to be the lair of Zamora, who has been taking the organs of unsuspecting tourists out of revenge against all the rich tourists who've been buying the organs of poor Brazilians for years.
TURISTAS has some truly suspenseful scenes as the tourists try to escape Zamora and his gang. One incredible sequence involves the surviving tourists escaping Zamora's gang in a series of underground river caves. That sequence, however, and a nighttime sequence involving some of the tourists escaping from cages at Zamora's lair, is too often confusing because of hard-to-see and hard-to-comprehend cinematography and editing. Also, the characters and the performances seem a little bit too sketchy and lackluster.
TURISTAS contains excessive foul language, excessive violence, excessive gore, brief nudity, and some sexual content. The gory violence includes an operation where the evil doctor cuts open a victim and takes her liver, heart and a kidney. It also includes several shots of gory head wounds, two of which are fatal, and a scene where the doctor stabs a lazy minion to death in the eye with a wooden kabob and, ultimately, driving the kabob into the man's brain.
All this negative content spoils the movie's dominant worldview, which is moral, but light. TURISTAS also contains a couple positive Christian references. These moral and Christian elements include important moments where the movie's more positive characters risk their lives for their fellow human beings.
Instead of taking the low road, TURISTAS could have taken the high road. By doing so, and aiming for a PG-13 rating, it could make far more money than this R-rated version would ever hope to make.
TURISTAS is surprisingly suspenseful and morally positive in parts, but contains excessive foul language, violence, gore, and brief nudity. Also, some of the suspenseful parts are shot and edited in a murky, confusing fashion. Finally, the characters and the performances seem a little bit too sketchy and lackluster. All of these bad elements dilute the movie's entertainment value.