Mr. & Mrs. Smith Review @ 2 October 2005 01:18 AM

Title: Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Classification: 15

Director: Doug Liman

Runtime: 120 Minutes

Having previously seen both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in extremely good films, it is difficult to approach a film starring them both with a level mind. Ok, admittedly, Tomb Raider was pants, but she was let down by the fact that it was a game adaptation, and they always suffer. Brad Pitt, on the other hand, has served time in the masterful Fight Club, in Snatch, in Se7en, in Ocean's 11 and 12, Troy... the list goes on.

So, Mr & Mrs Smith. I'd gone thinking it was some kind of romantic comedy with guns, but unless your idea of romance is trying to kill your significant other, it's just a comedy. The story revolves around John and Jane Smith, married to each other, both hired hitmen (or hitwomen, I guess). They work for opposing companies, and are hired to go to the same target. Without revealing too much, they end up finding out about each other, and spend the next two hours beating seven shades of Shoreditch out of each other.

The soundtrack is cute, in a good way; it alternates between romantic themes and kitsch 60's homemaking themes, as seen on 'I dream of Jeannie' and 'Bewitched'. When two people are running around in a dark house shooting each other, it is somehow fitting that the music reflects on their humdrum domestic lives. The film is a fitting tribute to anyone who undergoes marital problems, except that very rarely do those problems involve silenced handguns and bombs in your coat pocket.

The movie has been compared, unfairly in my opinion, with James Bond; the idea that they perform a clever move, make a pun, and get a bigger gun. I disagree with this, because that suggests a smooth operation, and John and Jane certainly don't have that. They exacerbate the common arguments, but in a way that seems almost rough around the edges, and pleasurably so. There are several moments of what feel like unplanned humour, although whether the scriptwriters had anything to do with those remains to be seen.

There are no memorably quotable bits, but that doesn't stop this from being a superb action romp; plenty of guns, plenty of action, loads of humour and, at one point, Angelina Jolie in her underwear. And a bondage costume. Or, for the ladies, Brad Pitt topless. Ah, the pleasurable things in life…


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