MR. & MRS. SMITH
Take two of the hottest actors in Hollywood,
and pair them up in a big-budget action flick. It's one of those
formulas that happens every summer in theaters. But MR. & MRS.
SMITH has received an unusually large amount of hype, mainly because of
Brad Pitt's spilt with Jennifer Aniston, and rumored off-screen relationship
with co-star Angelina Jolie. So their new film has become even more
anticipated, simply because these two are the hot topic of discussion.
Does it live up to the hype? Or more importantly, is is even a good
The film opens with John (Pitt) and Jane (Jolie) Smith visiting a marriage
counselor, revealing that things in their relationship aren't quite as great
as they could be. Through flashback we learn that these two met under
mysterious circumstances in Bogotá, Columbia about five or six years ago.
They fell in love, and got married soon after. Initially everything
seemed terrific. But as the years passed, John and Jane found their
"work" consuming their lives, and their daily routine at home had gotten just
plain boring. Little does each of them know that they both secretly
spend their days working as undercover spies for unnamed government
organizations. John thinks Jane is just an ordinary working woman, and
Jane doesn't suspect John is anything more that a simple working man.
Over the years they have both managed to keep their respective lives from
getting in the way. But when they each get assigned to eliminate the
same target, suddenly things get really complicated. After doing a bit
of research, John learns that Jane actually tried to kill him during the hit,
and Jane learns the same of John. Both of these attempts were little
more than self-defense, but the appearance convinces them otherwise. So
now these two know each other to in fact be living a lie, and start to feel
that their own lives may be in danger thanks to one another. So can two
people that are so highly trained to kill possibly survive each other?
must admit when I first saw the trailers for this film, I really thought it
looked lame. We've seen this type of story before, with flicks like
THE WAR OF THE ROSES and WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Not
to mention that the spy couple was pretty well developed in TRUE LIES,
making this seem like a copy of that premise. There's even a tango
scene! Don't get me wrong, I like Brad Pitt as an actor, and Angelina
Jolie is always fun to watch. But there was something about those
trailers that just looked dumb. Then I realized Doug Liman was directing
it. Now Doug Liman is greatness. Films like the classically funny
SWINGERS, the engaging and intense GO, and the surprisingly good
BOURNE INDENTITY proved this guy knows how to make a good movie.
So I reserved judgment, and I'm happy to say that once again Liman has brought
us a great flick. Sure the concept isn't anything brilliant, but as a
summer popcorn flick, this movie is pretty well done. Those who like spy
films will enjoy the first half quite a bit. We're treated to some cool
visuals involving the Smith's secret hideouts and hiding places for weapons.
It's one of those things that TRUE LIES never touched upon, but when
you're a spy, surely you have to have some gear hidden around your
home, even if you don't want your significant other to know about it.
Brad Pitt is funny and charming, without being his usual overly-confident
self. Here he's more of an everyman, which is kind of refreshing.
Jolie is, well, hot. She plays her character serious, and yet typical of
that American housewife stereotype. Both of them do such a great job
showing convincing sides of normalcy, that it makes it that much more cool
when the spy side comes out of them. Vince Vaughn does a fine job of
providing some comical moments as Pitt's paranoid momma's boy buddy Eddie.
It's nice to have this character in the movie, so things never take themselves
too seriously. Some of the supporting actors are good, like Chris Weitz
(at least I think it's Chris Weitz) as the unsuspecting next door neighbor.
Perhaps the only failed characters are a squad of female specialists that
assist Mrs. Smith with her spy duties. Their presence is a bit cartoony,
which isn't unexpected in a movie like this, but Jolie is playing such a tough
character that they often seem unnecessary. I like the fact that the
film spends some time dealing with the emotional effects of betrayal and lying
to one another. In many ways those acts are more offensive to these two
that any sort of impending death. One thing I noticed is that there are
clearly some cut scenes, since certain moments elude to other characters or
events we never get to see. For instance, Keith David plays one of the
agency bosses, who we see only for a split second in the reflection of a
computer screen. There had to be more scenes with him, but none of them
are shown. The resolution of the film is a little bit too convenient
too, especially considering the circumstances we witness moments before.
Angelina Jolie, director Doug
Liman, and Brad Pitt share a laugh between takes.
Overall MR. & MRS. SMITH is a great time at the movies.
It has something for everyone. Women will enjoy the romance, and guys
will love the action. Granted a lot of it is so implausible that we have
to check our brain at the door, but hey, this is the time of the big summer
action movie. The storytelling is done well, which is to be expected
from someone like Liman. He's the only guy I know that can make a
phenomenal chase scene using a minivan. The film runs a tad long, but
never gets boring, leaving you with an overall feeling of satisfaction.
If you want a fun time at the movies, this one will do the job.
BIGFANBOY.com score - On a scale of
1 to 10, 10 being the best, I give MR. & MRS. SMITH an 8.
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