Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie look great and do very little in the Doug Liman action-comedy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The film has its moments, but is basically two hours of brainless gunplay by Hollywood’s most glamorous actors. The pair stars as a bored married couple unaware of each other’s true profession. They’re both deadly assassins that masquerade as an engineer and computer consultant; who live in the suburbs, drive expensive cars, and are home at seven for pot roast by candlelight. After five or six years of marriage (one of the humorous moments from the film), the couple start seeing a therapist to address their marital woes. They’ve become bored with each other and want to spice it up a little. They get their wish when they’re both assigned the same hit. The secret is revealed and they both think that their marriage was just a set-up. Couple’s therapy takes on a whole new meaning as The Smith’s decide killing each other is the best way to solve their problems.
Screen chemistry saves this film from being utterly vapid. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are fantastic together on screen. They’re totally believable as suburban yuppies and ass-kicking killers. The problem is that they’re not given anything to do. The initial premise is drawn out until the situation has to change. Then quickly devolves into an endless series of highly unrealistic action scenes. It’s almost as if they had an action quota they felt had to be met. It’s overdone and takes away from the smart, funny rapport established earlier in the film.
The look of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is trademark Doug Liman, vibrantly smooth with a quick pace. The action scenes, despite their gratuitousness, are very well executed. There is a particularly nasty fight between the couple at their house that stands out. Liman is most famously know for directing “The Bourne Identity”, but achieved cult status with “Swingers” and the vastly underrated “Go”. Mr. and Mrs. Smith is easily his highest profile film. I think he gets a little too caught up by the glamorous nature of his lead actors. His films usually have a lot of character depth that is noticeably lacking here.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith can bank on the appeal of its stars to draw audiences to the theaters. Brad Pitt sports his impressive physique and Angelina Jolie smolders in a skin-tight dominatrix outfit. They’re great together and that should be enough to satisfy the casual moviegoer. It’s a light summer movie with beautiful people, car chases, lots of bullets, and no pretense.