Mr & Mrs Smith
Mr. & Mrs. Smith--about a bored married couple who find out they are trained killers gunning for each other--is a thoroughly enjoyable ride from start to finish. Honestly, nothing says loving like blasting a shotgun hole through your spouse's insides.
Couples therapy is for the birds. Trying to annihilate one another with high-tech weaponry is the best way to spice up a dull marriage. So say John (Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie), a seemingly ordinary suburban couple stuck in a six-year, lifeless marriage. They learn this helpful marriage tip firsthand after discovering each other's ''little'' secret. Seems they are actually two of the world's most deadly assassins, but they work for competing companies. Yeah, you'd think something like that would have come up at some point while eating at the breakfast nook. Of course, once the secret is out, there's no turning back. Now hired to assassinate each other, the fun really begins as the once-bitter Smiths discover a newfound source of excitement in their marriage. Oh boy, do they ever. So, does one of them kill the other to keep their job? Or should the two hottest people on the planet--after shooting up their house and beating the holy whaley out of each other--reconcile and get blood all over each other while having steamy sex? You decide.
OK, let's just get it over with. Whatever may have happened off set between Jolie and Pitt, there's no denying that they indeed have an immediate, palpable connection on screen. From the moment they appear as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, sitting in a therapist's office discussing their marriage, you can feel the chemistry oozing off of them, even in their estrangement. Maybe it's real, but it may also be a testament to their talent. Sure, Jolie and Pitt can play professional assassins, exchanging rapid gunfire, in their sleep. But painting a convincing picture of a strained marriage? That's a different story. Between the bickering, the long silences, the tense politeness, even finishing each other's sentences, these highly capable actors rise to the occasion as the married Smiths. And to think, Nicole Kidman was originally slotted to play Mrs. Smith. That would have been an entirely different film. For a little extra comic relief, there's the always hilarious Vince Vaughn, as John's colleague. He's a mild-mannered fellow who lives with his mother because she's the only woman he's ever ''trusted.'' The quippy exchanges between Vaughn and Pitt are classic. ''Women. They all try to kill you, slowly, painfully, cripplingly ,'' he warns John. I wouldn't say all that. Hand me that gun, please.
First-time writer Simon Kinberg came up with Mr. & Mrs. Smith for his Master thesis at Columbia University Film School. Several drafts later, and with a little help from the Academy Award-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), the real Smith was born. Liman has a good handle on all the action, especially in choreographing the penultimate confrontation between the Smiths in their beautifully manicured home. Firing guns, throwing punches and knives and blowing stuff up just feels good, doesn't it? But you do have to throw logic out the window when you're in the Smith world. Come on, the fact that these two highly trained über-killers never knew each other's secret professions seems more than a little farfetched, especially if we are to believe they--and the competing companies they work for--are as high tech, professional and deadly as they say they are. No matter. The implausibility of it all rarely detracts from watching two of the sexiest movie stars around pound the living crap out of one another--and then kiss to makeup. Good stuff.
Media hype over its hotter-than-hot leads notwithstanding, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a War of the Roses meets Prizzi's Honor adrenaline rush that rarely lets up. Bring the spouse and live vicariously.