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Overall Rating
3.53

Awesome: 15.72%
Worth A Look45.91%
Average: 21.38%
Pretty Bad: 9.43%
Total Crap: 7.55%

13 reviews, 81 user ratings


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Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"At least they went on to adopt babies and stuff. Whatever."
3 stars

Assassins are lovable and attractive; at least, that's what movie after movie tells us. Hollywood filmmakers, who know a thing or two about taking soulless jobs for the money, are mesmerized by the cool amorality of people who kill for a living (as well as the potential for action blowouts in which dozens of people drop like flies and the audience doesn't have to care).

Some movies use the hit-man as a useful launchpad for commentary: Grosse Pointe Blank, for instance, was a slyly satirical view of middle-class mores, and Collateral explored the human cost of murder for hire. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a married couple who don't know they're also rival assassins, is a jovial, half-smart domestic comedy in which domesticity itself is a joke.

John (Pitt) and Jane (Jolie) have settled into a lucrative rut together. Each thinks the other is in some fat-paycheck line of work that keeps them out of the house a lot. The amount of elaborate deception required to sustain their mutual lie isn't credible in the least, but we'll let that pass. The movie's bottom line is the pairing of Pitt and Jolie, and the happy (or not so happy for Jennifer Aniston) accident of their apparently having become a real-life couple during filming. How's their chemistry? Well, they're both in on the joke, and they both know how to keep themselves amused in big-budget spectacles. Certainly they lack the sparks that, say, John Cusack and Minnie Driver shared in Grosse Pointe Blank. Part of the movie's point is that John and Jane are bored with each other until they're trying to kill each other, and that part of the film doesn't last very long.

I suppose it's useless to expect wit and elegance from a movie like this. Mr. and Mrs. Smith is amusing, but only in the "surprisingly not-infantile for a $100 million summer action flick" sense of the word. Vince Vaughn, dropping in now and then as John's crony in assassination, scores some laughs but reminds us how far he and his director here, Doug Liman, have come -- or fallen -- since their mutual debut in Liman's 1996 indie comedy Swingers. I wasn't a fan of that film, but it caught the pulse of something real, and Liman's next feature, 1999's Go, was a chaotic little sweetheart of a Gen-X comedy. Since then, though, Liman has gravitated to impersonal big-budget thrills, with 2002's The Bourne Identity and now this. The Liman of nine years ago might've cast Vince Vaughn as John and perhaps Janeane Garofalo as Jane, and allowed the film to rest on intelligence instead of concussive action climaxes.

The film's structure is predictable in every beat. John and Jane are set against each other, then rediscover their passion for one another and band together against their mutual enemy. (It isn't a black, bleak comedy like The War of the Roses, ending in degradation and death for them both.) For what seems like forever, the movie devolves into duck/cover/shoot, in which the heroes' virtuosity with firearms somehow means that the six hundred trained assassins shooting at them are all lousy shots. A car chase in a stolen SUV has comic potential, starting off with Air Supply's plaintively nerdy "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" oozing out of the car radio and featuring Brad Pitt briefly making hostile use of a golf club, but it eventually peters out. Just because Liman has found himself at the wheel of two action movies doesn't make him an action director.

For a brief moment, when John and Jane are joined in an embrace while firing guns in opposite directions -- like a romantic parody of John Woo -- I dared to hope that Mr. and Mrs. Smith would end on a high operatic note: the killer lovers going out with guns blazing and tongues entwined. But the movie is bracketed by the couple's visits to an offscreen therapist, and we're to understand that the whole experience has brought them closer. No fallout from all the people they've killed, no further danger from whoever wanted them dead, no competitiveness between each other.

The upper-class killers, smirking at us from the screen at the end, are validated in their highly lucrative and destructive lifestyle choice. I guess that's less tiresome than the "crime does not pay" punishments of much older movies, but it still leaves a sour taste in one's mouth.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12432&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/06/07 14:53:53
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User Comments

12/06/12 JP Ward A preemptive vanity project 2 stars
3/17/10 PAUL SHORTT ENJOYABLE, SLICK ACTION ADVENTURE 3 stars
9/16/09 Caro Awesome action film...the cast is perfect and the comedy is brilliant. Love it to pieces! 5 stars
3/16/09 Monday Morning With such high-powered stars, why such a lame movie? 2 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome storyline! 5 stars
2/11/08 steve the ending sucks i was sittin there thinking why cant they die 1 stars
11/04/07 theyapper Some funny moments 3 stars
1/28/07 mets1986 Great fun.......... 5 stars
1/06/07 jeff one of the best couples since boggie and bacal- i thought it was GREAT!! 5 stars
12/21/06 ES Sleep through the first half hour, but when the fighting starts it ain't half bad 3 stars
11/11/06 David Pollastrini great action with a few comedy bits 3 stars
10/05/06 Charles Tatum Um, what was all the fuss about? 3 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist 1 WAY TICKET TO THE STUPIDFEST CONCERT!! 1 stars
7/08/06 Anthony Feor Jolie couldn't even save this wreck 1 stars
6/14/06 drydock54321 most of it was great and fun to watch, but NO ENDING! 3 stars
6/05/06 mary not good 1 stars
5/03/06 Ashley Hinz Loved it. I would like a sequel, but it might ruin the original. 5 stars
4/28/06 Alana M. Barquero I thought that this movie was great. Plus it has two HOT actors in it. 4 stars
2/28/06 Amber Wellman It's awesome.. it's funny,romantic,hot.... It's brillant! 5 stars
2/11/06 Loopt Sure it is slick and watchable, but not exactly containing much below the belt... 3 stars
2/10/06 Carolyn Rathburn awesome, loved the action and the naughtiness 5 stars
2/04/06 Denise Duspiva funny 4 stars
1/24/06 sweetgrrl1972 It's ALL in the fricken trailer so if you've seen that, you 've seen the "best" of the film 1 stars
1/23/06 Soha Molina Bad movie 1 stars
1/14/06 ALDO first half very good second half very bad 3 stars
1/09/06 Anthony Feor Brad and Angelina should consider retirement 2 stars
1/01/06 Anne Treadwell Didn't like the idea that violence (really nasty violence) is a marriage saver. 2 stars
12/23/05 chris total shite 1 stars
12/18/05 J.D. Pittman III I'm watching it agian now. It's hilarious besides the action. 5 stars
12/10/05 Quigley even though brad (please stop "acting") and jolie had chemistry, the movie was a cartoon 3 stars
12/05/05 od fun. strongly recommended. 5 stars
11/29/05 Cedric Angelina Jolie could get diarrhea, videotape it & be most watchable since Girl Interrupted. 1 stars
11/25/05 diana rogers it was a fun movie! 5 stars
10/20/05 Agent Sands Contrived, annoying, unfunny. Good technical filmmaking, but script is headache-inducing. 2 stars
10/12/05 Ava Rice More evidence that Angelina Jolie is a no-talent "actress" who lucked out once. 2 stars
9/13/05 bbbr good action mate 5 stars
9/06/05 Jakob Bascoban Boring action-comedy. Badly Written!!! 2 stars
8/28/05 Tom Burns Action packed and very, very funny. 5 stars
8/03/05 Sean D Good chemistry between Pitt and Jolie. Great movie. 5 stars
7/22/05 Quigley this movie is a cartoon story with total cartoon action. pitt & jolie had chemistry though 3 stars
7/20/05 Chris Much better than expected 4 stars
7/18/05 Rick Plenty of funny "married people moments", and Vince Vaughn's grandmother scene...priceless 3 stars
7/18/05 john Clothes is too revealing in movies theses days, no wounder Guys are doing stuff to women 1 stars
7/14/05 Matthew Rudawsky A bunch of unbelievable shootups, no real sex, no real plot. Don't bother. 1 stars
7/12/05 Anne There should have been more of Vince Vaugn and Adam Brody, good action-packed movie 5 stars
7/11/05 KELLEN MATHERS Entertaining plus Angelina Jolie - can't miss 4 stars
7/11/05 Peteca Entertaining 4 stars
7/05/05 Charlene Javier Angelina Jolie is HOT! The movie not so. 3 stars
7/05/05 whatevr at the very least, a good time killer 4 stars
7/05/05 Monday Morning A warm chunk of stool with too much action and not enough plot. 2 stars
7/04/05 DONALD Good premise. Gets boring. Too long. 3 stars
7/04/05 dave boring, and not worth reccomending 2 stars
7/03/05 sir spam-a-lot decent eye candy movie 4 stars
6/30/05 Minh minh 5 stars
6/30/05 Kankasaur The matinee was worth my 5 (or 6) dollars 4 stars
6/30/05 John Ay Enjoyed it a great deal. 4 stars
6/28/05 katheryne I really like they make a good couple i love them 5 stars
6/27/05 Koitus Like an "Ahnold" flick - apparently NO ONE is accurate! Angelina sexier in "Taking Lives!" 3 stars
6/23/05 sally angwin Brad and Angelina what more can I say??? 5 stars
6/23/05 M A re-done 'true lies', funny and awesome chemistry between the pitt/jolie 5 stars
6/18/05 Nancy Funny, Great Chemistry exactly what a summer flick should be 4 stars
6/17/05 Peteco Very good entertainment 4 stars
6/16/05 David Fun stuff if you can ingore the SUV sized plot holes and inconsistencies 4 stars
6/15/05 Titus Ending was weak, but all in all this was much better than most of the crap this year. 4 stars
6/14/05 E-FUNK Turn your brain off and enjoy. Pitt's funniest role. Angelina is pure eye-candy. 4 stars
6/13/05 Brangelina fan Great movie, stunning actors with undeniable chemistry, this pic will keep you on the edge 5 stars
6/13/05 Conrad Truly excellent fun 4 stars
6/13/05 Gini Fun, popcorn fare. A perfect summer movie - laughs and explosions 4 stars
6/13/05 jcjs no brainer funsi 4 stars
6/13/05 Charlene Javier Bored in between the awesome action scenes. 3 stars
6/13/05 Ornith My husband and I laughed ourselves sick-wit, booms, and *really* nice eye candy. Yea!!! 4 stars
6/12/05 BrianWilly Hilarious and exciting movie. 5 stars
6/12/05 KingNeutron Vaughn almost steals the show; very funny moments from all 3 major actors. 4 stars
6/12/05 NP Action sequences too long, story too weak. 1 stars
6/12/05 Lord Jiggy Funny, twisted, loses its way a little, but very enjoyable 5 stars
6/11/05 Krisan Graves What Chemistry! No wonder he left Jennifer, but i am still pissed at him :( 5 stars
6/11/05 Rosa St James LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT TO PIECES! 5 stars
6/11/05 Jay Typical hollywood action crap. 1 stars
6/11/05 Paul Did you just say "wankerous?" 3 stars
6/10/05 Littlepurch WAY better than I was expecting. Cast were perfect, action was great and it was hilarious!! 5 stars
6/10/05 Christen how awesone two prople that are married try and kill each other(ha ha ha) 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-Jun-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 29-Nov-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  09-Jun-2005


Directed by
  Doug Liman

Written by
  Simon Kinberg

Cast
  Brad Pitt
  Angelina Jolie
  Vince Vaughn
  Adam Brody
  Angela Bassett
  Keith David



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