Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

"Excellent"

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) Review


It will go down in infamy as the film that split up Brad and Jen -- assuming that 10 or 20 years from now people still remember the headline-making legacy of the ill-fated Pitt-Aniston marriage.

Unfortunately for gossip fiends, Mr. & Mrs. Smith doesn't really bear any mark of Angelina Jolie as homewrecker or of Brad Pitt as any more infatuated with the lippy screen queen than any normal, red-blooded man ought to be. And fortunately for moviegoers, Smith (wholly unrelated to the 1941 Hitchcock film of the same name) is a funny and wild ride, an impressive blend of black comedy, ultraviolence, and romance that we rarely get to see -- and which rarer still is any good.

It's an extremely high-concept setup, flirting with the point of absurdity and edging back from the brink: Pitt is John Smith, Jolie is his wife Jane. Both work as assassins, and both think their spouse is none the wiser. It's a marriage of convenience so each can run off to kill someone then be back in time for dinner, but it's all based on lies (and secret stashes of guns, bombs, and throwing knives hidden throughout the house). Eventually, the scam unravels, and the Smiths find themselves tasked with offing each other.

Sure, you saw that twist coming, and Smith makes few apologies for being more about the killing than the writing, but underneath the gore (and there's plenty of it), you'll find a surprisingly witty film punctuated by some truly humorous bits, even if the jokes tend toward the obvious and the plot drifts into a familiar repetition of kill/kiss/laugh/kill/kiss/laugh. If The Long Kiss Goodnight had been thought out a little more fully and with an ear for comedy, it might have ended up looking something like this. Director Doug Liman -- once associated with comedies like Swingers has now become the go-to director for the thinking man's action film (see also The Bourne Identity).

Pitt and Jolie are both good-with-moments-of-greatness, acting very professional and having fun with the bone-dry humor of their roles. But it is, as usual, Vince Vaughn who steals the show as a compatriot of Pitt's (don't waste too much energy trying to figure out if he's John's boss, who's "good" and who's "bad," or much of anything else... the meta-information is never really unveiled and doesn't stand up to much scrutiny). Vaughn is mainly just playing Vaughn, but his interplay with Pitt and with his perpetually off-screen mother is priceless. It's worth the price of admission on its own.

Be advised that Smith is a deeply violent film, and fans expecting a lighthearted romance with a smattering of playful gunfire will be shocked to see Pitt kicking the living crap out of Jolie -- though rest assured she holds her own in the end. (Jolie gets about three times as many punches in on Pitt than he gets on her. Double standard? You be the judge.)

If you're the kind of person that sees the humor in the Darwin Awards, videos of people falling over and breaking limbs, and a good old-fashioned kick to the nuts, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a film for you. It certainly doesn't hurt if you think that Angelina Jolie is smokin' hot.

A new unrated DVD offers deleted scenes, alternate ending, and feature-length commentary, plus a second disc of making-of extras.

Chop chop!



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

With its grindingly low-key tension and unusual perspectives, this Western has a chance to revamp...

Criminal Movie Review

Criminal Movie Review

Almost criminally entertaining, this preposterous thriller mixes buckets of humour and emotion into the violent,...

Advertisement
The Jungle Book Movie Review

The Jungle Book Movie Review

Using remarkably photorealistic animation, this remake of the 1967 Disney classic is warm and enjoyable,...

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Almost forensic in its approach, this smart thriller explores a drone strike from a variety...

Midnight Special Movie Review

Midnight Special Movie Review

Gifted director Jeff Nichols takes on another genre in his fourth film with actor Michael...

Boulevard Movie Review

Boulevard Movie Review

This dark, introspective drama hinges on one of Robin Williams' final film performances before his...

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

Aside from success at the box office, there was nothing about 2012's rather uneven fantasy...

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

It's fairly obvious that the cast and crew began making this film with only the...

Victoria Movie Review

Victoria Movie Review

One of the most breathtaking films of the year, this ambitious story shifts from a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.