Featuring two undeniably sexy stars, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is one of those movies you dont have to think about but instead can just sit back and let wash over you. Yet its not dumbed down. Fast-paced with just the right blend of genres, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is surprisingly good.
Before delving into an analysis of the film, I just want to make this quick point. This review will ignore the elephant standing in the middle of the room. If you're not sure what elephant Im referring to, then you havent been reading the gossipy tabloid papers that seem to be on a mission of life and death importance trying to figure out whats going on between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Thats the elephant were just going to pretend doesnt exist.
Back to the movie. The plots fairly simple. Jane and John meet while down in Columbia where theyre both on assignment. Neither has a clue what the other ones up to and after much alcohol and a night of what we can assume is passionate love-making, they become a couple. Fast forward a few months and now theyre Mr. and Mrs. Smith. He believes she handles computer problems for major companies; she believes hes a big shot in construction. Fast forward even further and now theyve been married five or six years and theyve got problems, major relationship problems that necessitate visiting a marriage counselor.
After being together for all those years, youd think they would have figured out that something doesnt add up. But no, neither figures out the others an assassin until theyre both sent out by their competing companies to take out the same target. The cats out of the bag and all bets are off toss in your own cliché here as those marital problems they were suffering from before suddenly look like small potatoes. Never forgetting its a romantic comedy at heart, the action sequences take over once Mr. and Mrs. discover what their partner really does for a living.
Simon Kinbergs script is saucy and engaging and director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) adeptly handles the action and comedy. We dont often get to see a man and woman engaged in an all-out brawl, but Liman lets the fight scene between Jolie and Pitt get as physical as possible without cutting away too much or cute camera tricks. And while it's a little unnerving to watch their hand-to-hand combat, it makes sense. Shes an assassin, why would her opponent need to hold back?
Fighting, making love, clinched in each others embrace on the dance floor, verbally fencing, whatever the circumstance or scene, the pairing of Pitt and Jolie works. They physically match up. Jolie plays Mrs. Smith just as physically capable and lethal as Pitt does Mr. Smith. In fact, the female is actually the better of the two assassins. Her moves are planned out meticulously; her actions follow a logical path. He relies more on his instincts and isnt as fast on his feet as his female counterpart. Its refreshing to see a female character be allowed to get the upper hand mentally and physically on her male costar, especially in a movie where the leads are portraying professional killers.
How good are Jolie and Pitt together onscreen? Were talking serious chemistry here. I havent seen Brad Pitt look this sexy for at least a decade and Angelina Jolie is blazingly hot. The sparks are almost visible when the two face off in the film. And yes, believe anything youve heard about the sex scenes. While theres very little actual flesh exposed, the heat generated during their more intimate moments is palpable.
Vince Vaughn pops in as Brad Pitts best buddy and co-worker, providing a little comic relief whenever the movie slows down a skosh. The movie has funny bits but whenever Vaughns onscreen, the comedy is kicked up a few notches. Whenever his characters riffing on John for being in a controlling marriage or defending the fact he still lives with his mom (the only woman he can trust), Vaughn delivers some of the biggest laughs in the movie and even manages to steal a semi-pivotal scene from right underneath Pitt and Jolie.
There are plot holes and a couple of things (dont worry, this is entirely spoiler-free) dont really add up, but the films not trying to perform the cinematic equivalent of brain surgery. Mr. and Mrs. Smith colors outside the lines, doesnt take itself seriously, and manages to retain the same playful tone throughout the two hour running time. For my money, its one of the best times Ive had at the movies all year.
"Mr. and Mrs. Smith" was directed by Doug Liman and is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, intense action, sexual content and brief strong language.