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 Mr. and Mrs. Smith
 Critic's Rating
   [B+]
 Date Posted
   12th June, 2005
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Cast: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn
Director: Doug Liman

From start to finish, one thing is apparent while viewing 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith', a good time at the movies courtesy of this irreverent, witty summer escapade is a sure fire guarantee. This is a film that is hard to describe without letting people think of it as an outright comedy, which it is in very broad strokes by playing on the fashionable, glamorous lifestyles of undercover spy agents, who look great and share a chemistry that is as unmatched as it is appealing. But this is also an action movie. And in some dysfunctional manner, even serves the right ingredients of being a date flick.

Its comedic fulcrum is based on the premise, which finds the married couple John and Jane Smith (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie respectively) on the cusp of an erupting marital detachment and accordingly participating in marriage counselling but carrying on with their professional lives; that of being spies or hitmen or assassins. The movie never makes this very clear or even ventures into revealing who exactly they work for, which is fine because once they've been given instructions to take each other out, an audacious, action packed ride ensues. Pitt and Jolie are little more than patches of their previous roles him channelling his experience from 'Fight Club' and 'Spy Game', her redoing the double fisted gun routines from those 'Tomb Raider' movies, but their onscreen zeal is hard to fake.

Being released in the summer season and starring two extremely recognisable leads, certain expectations exist and none of them are left unexplored. The humour, which though never has a moment to burst into full-blown laughter, is neither dull nor tasteless. It is however mischievously exploratory about relationships and laced in observational droll avoiding the common trap of being all about coy sexual remarks and innuendo. This even works in certain spots as the mad symbolic fantasy of someone who really detests his marriage and has perhaps dreamt up the setup. Marital hate and gender disunity has never been this much fun to watch.

The competent direction, fusing great explosive action and tardy situations that others would be hard pressed to execute with such finesse, is an incentive that the presence of having Doug Liman behind the camera brings. His past body of work (Go, The Bourne Identity) has allowed him to gradually promote himself to a position where he is fit to handle incendiary car chase scenes reminiscent of the Lethal Weapon series.

'Mr and Mrs Smith' also shares something else in common with those films; this is in some ways a buddy movie, but one that caters to both the genders equally. - Faizan Rashid

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