Mr. & Mrs. Smith just goes to prove that two big name actors with good chemistry cannot carry a movie. The two stars in question this time around are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, playing the Smiths. Pitt is John, while Jolie is Jane. I don’t believe we ever get their real names, not that their names are all that important anyway. They’ve been married for “five or six” years, we find out, as the film opens with the couple sitting in front of a marriage counselor.
We flashback to when they first met. It’s not memorable. We then go forward to present day, and witness a standard day in the Smith household. The couple seems fairly normal, seeing each other before and after work. But things don’t seem quite right. We see John put his wedding ring back on just before entering the house. Why was it off in the first place? And the couple’s interactions don’t seem normal either. They’re pleasant, but their conversations are full of pointless filler. Something must be up.
We soon find out that each Smith is actually an assassin. They each get sent to take out the same target, and end up sabotaging each other’s efforts, letting the target get away. Their agencies give them each 48 hours to eliminate the other agent. Most of the rest of the movie consists of the duo attempting to kill the other, all the while keeping a smile on their face.
If there’s one thing that I did like about Mr. & Mrs. Smith, it was that it didn’t take itself too seriously. Pitt and Jolie, while not showing any range, looked like they were having good fun. In scenes that you would expect them to be incredibly serious, such as when they’ve having a fight scene, they continue to have a sense of humor about it. Not taking itself too seriously is also reinforced by the film’s score, which rarely ever actually fits the action happening on-screen. That’s kind of funny, I suppose. The writing reflects this too, having them work out marital problems that normal people would have during the action scenes.
For example, there’s a large scene that has the couple fighting with guns, knives and their hands within their house. This scene lasts a good five minutes, at least, and all the while it’s going on, the two characters continuously spout lines at one another that break the mold of what people actually would say in the given situation. If you were being shot at, would your verbal rebuttal be something relating to the other person’s cooking?
Unfortunately, the action scenes in the film aren’t all that entertaining. There’s little originality, apart from the dialogue during them, which means that you’ll likely become bored after they go on for too long. And they will. There are at least two action scenes that are extended far longer than they should be. The aforementioned house scene is one of them, while the other is the almost obligatory car chase sequence that action movies feel they must have. Characters can also apparently dodge RPGs and spin around for two minutes, never once getting hit by the bullets coming at them from all directions.
The plot is also weak, containing few twists or actual plot points. It is there to set up the premise, make one switch around near the end of the film, but nothing more. It takes a back seat to the two lead characters trying to kill one another, and never once tries to actually bring depth to the film. There are also some parts of the film that made little sense, like the inclusion of Vince Vaughn’s character. He’s John’s best friend and co-worker, but appears maybe five times, never once bringing anything to the table, except for possibly a couple of laughs, depending on how funny you find him.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is actually an action-comedy, although the comedy part mostly gets taken away after the couple finds out that they want each other dead. There are a few funny lines near the beginning of the film, but they get fewer and farther between as the film progresses. The dialogue between the two characters varies between quite clever and mundane, with the former happening far less frequently than the latter.
There are a few good moments scattered throughout Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but there aren’t enough to create a good movie. Instead, we get a couple of chuckles, some action scenes that are usually too long for their own good, and a couple of actors having fun. The story, if you can call it a “story”, lets the two characters have at one another, and then departs, giving us scene after scene of characters trying to kill one another. It gets less humorous as it progresses, and is ultimately not worth watching.