Mr & Mrs Smith (2005)


This film made more press because it apparently ended the marriage of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. It is a shame it received so much unwanted attention, as it deflected from the fact that this is a smart action film led by two leads that nobody can deny have smoking chemistry onscreen together.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie star as John and Jane Smith. They have been married for five (or six) years and have got into the routine of a bored couple. They are both hiding a secret occupation though, as they are both assassins. When they are hired to kill each other, John and Jane must decide if their marriage or their profession is more important.

The setup is simple, but very original. The action is top class, but that should be expected from Doug Liman, the director of The Bourne Identity.

Of course you can’t talk about this movie without discussing the obvious chemistry between Pitt and Jolie, and they have it in spades. It is not surprising this spilled over into real life (although I like to think they didn’t act on anything until he left Aniston, but who knows for sure). The two of them are white hot together and make such a good pairing. I’m all for the sanctity of marriage, but these two just look so comfortable together and judging by the brood of children they currently have, they probably made the right decision. Hopefully everyone involved in this relationship, including Jennifer Aniston, is happier now. One of the things that makes this film work is the fact that the two leads share the screen together so well. I am sure that people think they’re actors, it is what they’re meant to do, but this feels different. There is something special about their chemistry that would be difficult to replicate from two people who were ‘just acting’. It also doesn’t hurt that both of these actors are absolutely gorgeous. They light up the screen together and everything else that happens in this film ends up coming second to the two leads and their unbelievable report with each other.

It would be interesting to think about what could have been with this film. So many other actors were in line to star other than Pitt and Jolie. Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett were at one stage attached to play Jane, while Will Smith and Johnny Depp were set to star as John before Pitt and Jolie were cast. I’m not sure any combination would be able to own the screen the way these two did.

Mr & Mrs Smith is a fun action romp led by two A-list actors at the top of their game. Marriage ending controversies aside, this is a very enjoyable action/romance that is very entertaining.

Rating: B

Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a great example of how onscreen chemistry between actors can transform a mediocre movie into something more. It’s not surprising that stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ended up together after filming. The two of them together in this film is electric. You can only assume that its the same in real life.

This movie will always be remembered as the one that ended the marriage between Pitt and then wife, Jennifer Aniston. But, I’m pretty sure the studio heads wanted it that way. The film would have made bank simply based on the star power of its leads, but let’s not pretend that the rumors swirling around Brad and Angie’s relationship didn’t help. We can never know for sure how much money it would have made otherwise, but I would wager that it wouldn’t have done quite as well without all the tabloid fodder swirling around it.

I say this because this isn’t a very good movie. The premise, though original, makes little sense. How could two top assassins be married to each other for years and not realize the other one is up to something? I know this is meant to be a commentary on married life– it’s so boring, you start taking each other for granted, how well do you ever really know your spouse?– but the execution doesn’t pan out. True Lies offers a better take on combining these tired marriage tropes with high stakes action.

Speaking of action, Mr. & Mrs. does do this well. The entire second half is basically two extended action sequences with a sex scene sandwiched between them. Again, not much by way of story going on here. Still, watching Jolie and Pitt fight each other and then fight with each other is entertaining.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith was never going to win any prestigious awards, but it knows this. The movie never tries to be anything other than an action flick, and ends up being a pretty decent one. Still, I don’t think it would have been as successful if its leads hadn’t ended up together. The fact that the controversy overshadows the movie speaks to the overall quality.

Rating: C+

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