I think everyone’s reaction upon seeing the trailer for Turistas was something like:”Oh good, another one of THESE movies.” I know that’s what my reaction was. However, when I watched The Ruins not all that long ago, every time I mentioned it to people, they confused it for this movie. I guess because both movies took place in some sort of non-American place? I also remember that this movie came out in December, which was a weird fucking time to release a horror movie. Anyways, since I had even confused myself on whether or not I had wanted to see this movie or if I had wanted to see The Ruins, so I tossed it on my queue. Oh yeah, also, this one has Olivia Wilde, so obviously that was another reason to put it on my queue.
TOO MUCH PARTY, OLIVIA WILDE.
A couple of Americans (pssh, typical Americans) are traveling through Brazil on a bus when that bus starts acting like a dickhead and rolls itself off of a cliff. The next bus isn’t coming for ten hours, so these Americans decide to follow up on a beach they had heard about. Alex (Josh Duhamel) and his sister Bea (Olivia Wilde) are there with their friend Amy (Beau Garrett), and when they leave the bus they are joined by an Australian named Pru (Melissa George), and two British dudes (Desmond Askew and Max Brown), so it’s one big international voyage. The group finds the beach, gets drunk, goes swimming, and thinks everything is awesome, until they all wake up scattered across the beach the next morning with their money and belongings stolen. They bump into someone they had met the night before and he offeres to lead them to his uncle’s where they’ll be able to find help. Unfortunately, when they arrive at the uncle’s house, they learn that rich people from around the world are willing to travel to Brazil to get organs from people with no questions asked, and this uncle is responsible for stealing organs from tourists. Can you see where this is going? Amy is killed for her organs, as well as the two British guys, but Alex, Bea, and Pru are able to escape. They are chased through a series of underwater caves, and Alex is able to beat the crazy uncle to the brink of death with a giant rock. One of the uncle’s henchmen has a slight hesitation in killing the tourists, resulting in the uncle calling him a coward, resulting in the uncle getting shot in the goddamned head. We then see Alex and Bea getting on a plane, and when they hear an American couple debating whether to fly or take a bus, Alex makes a joke about getting on the plane. OH GOOD ONE, ALEX!
I think this picture has just the right studly abs to sideboob ratio to be appealing to everyone.
So what sets this movie apart from any other countless versions of this story that we’ve seen before? I guess the organ harvesting idea at least gave a purpose to the torturing of tourists and changed the villains from faceless “natives” to people exploiting shitheads that come into their part of the world. The practical effects were pretty good, especially during the organ harvesting scene, but there was some CGI which was fucking AWFUL so I guess those two cancel each other out. I think the thing that made this movie tolerable, maybe even borderline entertaining, were the characters and the actors who portrayed them. In most of these movies about tourists getting tortured/killed in a foreign country, you don’t really care about the characters because you know they’ll probably die, but the cast made these characters relatively endearing. Josh Duhamel doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously and is charming enough to be likable, and by making Olivia Wilde his sister instead of a love interest you didn’t have to deal with the forced romantic relationship development. Melissa George’s character mostly served as the only one of the main characters who knew how to speak Portuguese, and I hadn’t seen Desmond Askew since that movie Go, so it was nice to see him again. That underwater cave chase scene thing was a pretty cool segment, where the characters had to find pockets of air or even just air bubbles to catch their breath, but it seemed a little out of context with the rest of the movie and went on for a little too long. If you’re into movies about foreigners having a shitty vacation, it’s not too bad for the genre, but other than that, no need to go out of your way to remember what makes this movie different from The Ruins. HINT: this one doesn’t have any killer vines.
Wolfman Moon Scale