While actor Desmond Askew began his career over a dozen years earlier as a child star in his native England, he first gained notice in the United States as unruly Simon Baines in Doug Liman's thrillin...
Maybe the most ridiculous part of the ridiculousness is Turistas' lack of subtlety with which everything kicks off. Immediately after the opening scene in which we meet the clear-cut tourists--Alex (Josh Duhamel) Bea (Olivia Wilde) Amy (Beau Garrett) Finn (Desmond Askew) and Liam (Max Brown)--their bus crashes and falls off a cliff in Brazil. They meet fellow foreigner Pru (Melissa George) who is fluent in Portuguese. The survivors stumble upon a hedonistically idyllic beach where they’re free to skinny dip drink and flirt (and more) with each other and the locals. Paradise ends when they wake up the next morning broke and barefoot. With the aid of a local Kiko (Agles Steib) they wander around trying to find help and transportation. But all they find is trouble at every turn before Kiko finally takes them to the house of someone he knows. It’s okay he’s a doctor! Oh the prettiness of this cast! Prettiest of them all is Duhamel aka Tad Hamilton/Fergie’s boyfriend. For female viewers it’s simply not going to matter that Turistas isn’t a shining moment for the TV's Las Vegas star--his on-off shirt ratio is all they’ll see. But it should be noted that if Duhamel didn’t look as though he just sprinted over from a special exotic edition of an Abercrombie & Fitch photo shoot his performance unexpressive and lacking urgency in the right spots would be a failure to everyone. There’s plenty to make the guys happy too as Wilde (The O.C.) Garrett and the uncredited local Brazilian women are happy to ditch their clothes. George (The Amityville Horror) is the prude of the group only stripping down to her g-string! She’s also the movie’s only real talent but it’ll be wasted on the sex-and-gore thirsty who willingly go see Turistas. No guts no glory--which is to say it seems that if no guts (read: organs) are shown a horror movie by today’s standards just can’t measure up. By that criterion Turistas succeeds; everywhere else it fails which as we’ve seen doesn’t mean audiences won’t eat it up. In fact director John Stockwell(crazy/beautiful Into the Blue...must we go on?) makes the audience think just seldom enough that people might just fall victim for this crassness. Stockwell seems to mimic Eli Roth’s Hostel template in every way possible down to the story that’s merely set in a different locale--but he winds up elevating Roth’s hugely successful gore-fest even more than when it was released and revered. Where Roth’s movie unapologetically basks in its (bloody) glow and appeals to true horror fans Stockwell’s seems confused as though it wants to do the same and win over say those who made I Know What You Did Last Summer a hit. The cinematography clearly trying to set up screams with near pitch-blackness is actually too dark often rendering the movie literally unwatchable--aside from being qualitatively unwatchable. And the script from first-timer Michael Ross is also shaky though not as much so as the hands it was placed into.
Played a cocky young London banker in the six-part ITV drama "Island"
Began work as a child model at age eight
Debut as series regular on American TV on the ABC midseason sitcom "Then Came You", playing Ed, the best friend of a young hotel worker who becomes romantically involved with an older woman
Was a "magic carpet child" in the Paul McCartney musical "Give My Regards to Broad Street"
Attended a full-time drama school from ages 11 to 16
Portrayed ill-fated urchin Gavroche in the London production of "Les Miserables" (dates approximate)
Co-starred in a remake of the Wes Craven thriller, "The Hills Have Eyes"
Had a recurring role as a mysterious new arrival in "Roswell" (The WB)
Starred as part of the ensemble of Doug Liman's fast-paced "Go"
Had roles in the BBC series "Grange Hill" and "Up Our Street"
Cast in the thriller "Turistas," directed by John Stockwell
Featured in original Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman's autobiographical film "Digital Dreams"
While actor Desmond Askew began his career over a dozen years earlier as a child star in his native England, he first gained notice in the United States as unruly Simon Baines in Doug Liman's thrilling, energetic film "Go" (1999). Blonde and wiry, with both guileless charm and a look and manner reminiscent of many a British punk, Askew made his American film debut in the ensemble of this top notch youth-aimed film, playing a charming but madly impulsive small-time drug dealer who heads to Las Vegas with his buddies, only to run into opportunity and trouble at every turn. Simon's scenes were among the most enjoyable in the fast-paced film, and Askew displayed an engaging screen chemistry with co-star Taye Diggs, as Simon's far more sensible friend Marcus.<p> Askew's film career began as a child performer many years earlier, landing work in two British-produced, music fueled projects by members of the world's most legendary rock bands. He had a featured role in original Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman's little seen autobiographical film "Digital Dreams" (1983) as well as a bit part as a magic carpet child in Paul McCartney's 1984 musical "Give My Regards to Broad Street". A veteran of stage and television, Askew was featured as the ill-fated Gavroche, a spirited street urchin who plays a pivotal role in the Cameron Mackintosh musical "Les Miserables" on the London stage. Television credits in his native country include roles in "Up Our Street" and the popular but somewhat controversial youth-aimed drama series "Grange Hill" (both BBC). The actor additionally starred on the ITV series "Island", a drama with a young ensemble cast set in popular British holiday spot Jersey. Askew played Danny, an ambitious and cocky banker on a visit to the posh island after a recent promotion on the six-part 1996 series. The actor first appeared on US television with a bit part as a copy boy in the British made CBS miniseries "Jack the Ripper" (1988), starring Michael Caine. He returned to American small screens 11 years later, following his "Go" success with a regular role as mischievous British hotel employee Ed on the romantic comedy midseason replacement, "Then Came You" (ABC, 2000). Though that series met a quick demise, Askew resurfaced on The WB with a recurring role portraying a mysterious character on the sci-fi teen drama "Roswell" (2000-2001).
Sylvia Young Theatre School
"I have no prejudice, no snobbery about doing TV. I think a sitcom's a wonderfully valid entertainment. As I say, I have no qualms about experimenting in different facets of the business." --Askew to TNT ROUGHCUT, May 3, 1999