Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Movie Review: "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (2005)

Director: Doug Liman
Year: 2005
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 0 minutes

A couple who has been married for six years is shocked when they discover they are both professional assassins gunning for the same target. Upon making this discovery, the two are forced to turn their guns on each other.

We can just imagine the pitch meeting for this film. Writer Simon Kinberg pitching his script, which is a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's screwball comedy "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," but he wants to make it an action film and for the Smiths to be secret professional assassins. You take "The Bourne Identity" director Doug Liman and two of Hollywood's hottest commodities, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, to star in the film, slap on an audience-friendly PG-13 rating, and you have a recipe for a box office success. And it certainly was, to the tune of $478 million dollars. Pitt and Jolie play John and Jane Smith, who have been married for about six years. She thinks he works in construction and he thinks she works for a tech company. In reality, they are both professional assassins. When they each get assigned to the same mark, they discover each other's secret. Already having trouble in their marriage, the two begin to believe their whole relationship has been a sham, that the other was always on the job playing the really, really long game. So, they decide to settle their problems with bullets.

"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" is a run of the mill mid-2000's summer action comedy. It is thin on plot and has an underdeveloped story and characters, but also has lots and lots of action, tons of guns and shooting, and the super sexy sexiness of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It relies heavily on the acting ability, charm, and chemistry of Pitt and Jolie, who would go on to become a powerhouse Hollywood "it" couple. Luckily, they have great on-screen chemistry and make their characters tolerable and at least semi-interesting. Without them, this film would be even more forgettable and would possibly be lost along with all the others like it from this cinema era, including "The Rundown," "S.W.A.T.," and "Charlie's Angels 2." The action can be somewhat fun as Mr. and Mrs. Smith try to constantly one-up each, but unfortunately, the movie never really gripped us as a whole. It's all fairly predictable and is not really that special. It starts with them trying to kill each other and builds to them teaming up to take on a slew of faceless commandos who seem to multiply like Gremlins in water. Seriously, at one point, there is an endless supply of assassins in black S.W.A.T. style outfits. Once all is said and done, however, the final resolution isn't very satisfying. It's like Liman and Kinberg didn't know how to end it since there isn't a real villain or any high-stakes conflict once the third act begins.

In the end, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" is fine for what it is. There are a few laughs and some good action, but it's not all that gripping, tense, or interesting. We were never truly invested in anything beyond surface level caring.
My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 59%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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