Mr. & Mrs. Smith

In "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie make love with blows and bullets rather than with hearts and flowers. Could this be the new paradigm for romance for the 21st Century?

Pitt and Jolie portray a couple whose marriage, after six years, has become so boring and routine that they have literally nothing left to say to one another. This despite the fact that both lead extraordinary double lives as secret agents – so secret, in fact, that neither of them knows that the other is really a hired assassin working for a rival company. When the truth finally comes out, the film turns into a sort of James Bond version of "The War of the Roses," with both parties devising ever more elaborate ways to rub one another out. However, the equation changes a bit when they discover that they have both been targeted for assassination by their respective agencies who fear that having two married spies from opposing camps might result in a serious conflict of interest for both sides. Soon, John and Jane come to realize that there's nothing like shooting it out with a common enemy to put a little zing back into a marriage.

Written by Simon Kinberg and directed by Doug Liman, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" is a clever, stylish dark comedy jerry-built out of equal parts star power, high concept cleverness and cartoon violence. Although the actors sometimes seem to be having a better time doing their thing on screen than we in the audience are having watching them do it, the fact remains that "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," after a somewhat faltering start, catches us up in its skewed view of marital relations gone wild. For the more threatened and knee-deep in danger and trouble the two of them get, the more they begin to communicate and reconnect as lovers – proving, I suppose, that two people can indeed make both love AND war despite what the slogan says. Most of the humor, in fact, is generated by the incongruity that arises from hearing them air their marital grievances against the backdrop of life-threatening gunplay and explosions. Who ever would have thought that facing death under a hail of bullets could be a more effective form of marital therapy than conventional counseling?

As the bickering couple, Pitt and Jolie achieve a genuine romantic chemistry on screen, hitting just the right note of urbane sophistication and sly detachment necessary for what is, essentially, a slick, post-modernist comedy for star struck audiences. Both are suave, laid-back and utterly unflappable in their presence and demeanor, as befits the tone of the film. My only complaint is that the gun battles do go on a bit long at times and the film does have some trouble finding its footing at the beginning. But once the elements finally come together at about the midway point, the film turns into a cool and relaxing film.

Special DVD Features:

-Commentary by: director Doug Liman and screenwriter Simon Kinberg
-Format,crewUnknown Format,producer Lucas Foster and producer Akiva
-GoldsmanUnknown Format
-3 deleted scenes " with more action and hilarious fun"
-Making a scene
-Trailers

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