06/23/2005: Thought for the Day:
The problem with Mr. and Mrs. Smith is that it's really two movies in one. The first is a sly comedy/thriller worthy of Hitchcock, and the other is a big, noisy summer action flick. The marriage of these two, like that of the title characters, is tempestuous, with each side in a constant struggle for dominance. When Mr. and Mrs. Smith is smart and sassy, it's a lot of fun. But when it's loud and dumb (which is too often for my taste), it's mindless and a little tedious. This is mediocre, forgettable entertainment. It doesn't really satisfy, but you probably won't exit the theater feeling gypped.
The premise is simple enough: John and Jane Smith (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) are a happily married couple who work as assassins for rival firms. Neither is aware of the other's occupation, and, to the outside world, they look like a traditional, upper-class suburban couple, albeit without the dog and the 2.5 kids. In fact, to keep the spark in their marriage of five or six years, they visit a marriage counselor. Then, one unfortunate day, a client double-books a hit, with John and Jane unknowingly assigned to eliminate the same target. When their take-down schemes prove to be incompatible, they lose the mark and discover a few things about each other. The resulting domestic strife makes the events of War of the Roses seem tame by comparison.
When director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) focuses on the characters and their non-traditional relationship, he's on safe ground. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie smolder, and their chemistry (regardless of whether it did or did not expand beyond the screen) couldn't be better. Whether they're shooting at each other, tossing around double entendres, or ripping each other's clothing off, Mr. and Mrs. Smith's two stars are sexy and magnetic. Foreplay for the Smiths involves not only disrobing, but disarming.
Len on 06.23.05 @ 06:25 AM CST