|The pinnacle of formulaic action|
If I have one major complaint about this film it's the hype machine that preceded it. Not only did it build the movie up (which, by itself isn't that bad - it's a good movie that actually managed to live up to the hype), but it ruined the plot of the movie. I feel that someone going into this movie with absolutely no knowledge of the plot would enjoy it significantly more than someone who saw the previews. However, that's not to say the movie isn't still enjoyable, because, while the plot may be perfectly predictable, it's the witty dialogue and clever acting that sells it.
If you haven't seen any previews for this movie, haven't seen the film itself, and wish to enjoy some comical moments for their full potential, then skip the next paragraph (I'm gonna discuss the plot).
The plot really is quite straight forward, once you know the premise. Two people are married, each is a secret agent/assassin, and they aren't aware that their spouse is in the same line of work. The first half of the movie is this brilliant play on cliché where it seems as though Brad Pitt's character (obviously, Mr. John Smith) is hiding an affair from his wife, Mrs. Jane Smith (as played by the stunning Angelina Jolie). However, where one might think that the resolution of the conflict between the two upon realizing they work for competing agencies would be the climactic finish to the film, it's a surprising relief to find it continues for quite some time after.
Even if you can predict every twist and turn in the plot (and, with even the most basic of premise revealed to you it shouldn't be that terribly difficult), the movie is still thoroughly enjoyable. As an action film it delivers, with spectacular chase scenes, over-the-top fire-fights, and clever gadgets. As a comedy this film shines, with the Pitt/Jolie duo having some impressive chemistry giving the failed marriage banter an extra level of zip. As a PG-13 film with two of the biggest sex symbols in Hollywood, the movie delivers with sizzling scenes that imply far more than they show.
I believe that Mr. & Mrs. Smith has a little something for everyone. For the guys out there it has Angelina Jolie and top-notch action. For the girls it has Brad Pitt and a romantic comedy thing going on. For everyone it has extremely well written dialogue with near-flawless execution from the leading duo and equally clever music selection that is humorous and/or mood-setting. Supporting acting from Vince Vaughn is well done as well, though the rest of the back-up cast is noticeably lacking in comparison to the phenomenal job coming from the stars.
That said, I'm positive that some exec in a room looked at the idea for this film and said, "A romantic action comedy starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? We'll be rich!" It is extremely formulaic and can't help but be a blockbuster. That's why I'm so happy that the movie ended up being well written and intelligent, as well as mindless and formulaic. I highly recommend it as a very very enjoyable movie. It's not pushing any boundaries or exploring new territory (more like perfecting previously explored territory) so it's not getting my Seal of Approval. However it is a great movie for a rainy day with a date or just with friends.
Written by Hyperion, 2006-04-14 21:44:44
IMDb page: Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)