‘The Tourist’ Ending, Explained: What Happens To Johnny Depp’s Character In The Tourist

The Tourist

In 2010 Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie were on the top of their game. They were releasing some of the biggest movies and Hollywood, and their fame went beyond their work on the screen. They were true celebrities, with people following each one of their steps. Who were they dating or marrying, where they were going on vacation, who they were talking to for their next projects, and so no.

So, it didn’t come as a surprise when Sony Pictures grabbed the two of them and put them together in a movie. The vehicle for such a union of movie stars was a script by German filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, titled, The Tourist. The script went into production and became one of the most ridiculized movies of the decade. The Tourist did well at the box office, but when it came to the critics and the audiences, the movies just didn’t hit in the way the studio planned to.

Nevertheless, the movie was not really meant to be high art, even if some misguided award show thought about it. The movie was just a start vehicle, and it did its job by just being dumb fun entertainment, thanks to a story with many twists and turns and charismatic actors on screen. The following paragraphs are filled with spoilers, so read at your own risk.

What Happens To Johnny Depp In The Tourist?

Something that is really cool about The Tourist is that the movie never takes itself too seriously. So most of the twists and turns come with a humorist feel to them. At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Elise, played by Angelina Jolie. Elise is the classic femme fatale, extremely beautiful of untrustworthy. Elise is in Paris and without her knowledge she is being followed by the police, Scotland Yard to be precise.

You see, Elise is the girlfriend of a criminal that has disappeared, and the police are following her, expecting the criminal to make contact with her. Elise’s boyfriend is called Alexander Pearce. Pearce is a sort of con man. He is being followed by Scotland Yard because he owes more than 700 million pounds to the government in taxes, and you know how that goes, you kill someone, and they might let you go. However, if you avoid taxes, they follow you to the end of the Earth.

The Tourist

Pearce is rumored to have had plastic surgery in order to conceal his identity. As of now, nobody has seen it, and if he indeed had plastic surgery, well, no one knows what he looks like. Pearce is also being followed by a gangster named Shaw, who Pearce stole more than 2 billion pounds. Everybody wants their hands on Pearce, so they follow Elise with the hope she appears.

While in Paris, Elise receives a message from Pearce. The message is a series of instructions that tell Elise to take a train and go to Venice, Italy. On the way, she must also take a man and make it seem like the man is Pearce, in order to distract the police and Shaw. Elise boards the train and picks up a man called Frank. Frank is just a math teacher on vacation in Europe, but when the beautiful Elise asks him to accompany, he cannot refuse the invitation.


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They arrive at Venice and Elise checks in at the Hotel the instruction guided her to. There she receives new instructions from Shaw, she must attend a party. Elise is clearly attracted to Frank, and he is obviously attracted to her, but they cannot be, Elise only has eyes for Pearce. She decides to abandon Frank, and he gets chased by Shaw’s men, but Frank manages to escape their pursuit.

Elise and Frank meet once again and this time, they start spending time together and a romantic relationship is being build up. They get chased by the police and Shaw’s men through the canals, but they escape. Elise doesn’t want anything bad to happen to Frank, so she leaves him at the airport, and tells him to go home. Later at the ball, Elise receives another message from Pearce directing her to an old house. She goes, even when knowing she is being followed by the police.

The Tourist

When Elise enters, she is taken hostage by Shaw. She threatens to kill if she doesn’t give him the money Pearce stole from him. Inside the house there is a safe, and he needs the password. Frank decided to follow Elise because he truly feels he is in love with her, and they all get captured by Shaw. Frank says that he is actually Pearce and that he will give him the money if he lets her leave.

What Is Johnny Depp’s Real Identity In The Tourist?

While Frank approaches the safe, it seems like everything was a bluff, and he doesn’t really have the password. However, because the police were following them, there are snipers outside of the house ready to fire. The chief of police gives the order and the snipers fire, killing Shaw and all of his men.

Later, Frank and Elise express their feelings for each other, but Elise is very clear that she really loves Pearce and is loyal to him. Frank opens the safe using the password, which reveals that he was in fact Pearce since the beginning. Meanwhile, the police receive a check for the amount of taxes that needed to be paid, and with that the case on Pearce is closed. As the movie closes, we see Pearce and Elise sailing away together into the sunset.

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