Movie Review
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Smith poster
By Scott Sycamore     Published June 13, 2005
US Release: June 10, 2005

Directed by: Doug Liman
Starring: Brad Pitt , Angelina Jolie , Greg Ellis , Adam Brody

Running Time: 123 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $186,336,103
The scriptwriting is banal and frustrating; it's as if the suits at Fox purposely edited out anything that would give this movie cohesion or plausibility.
It seems like a fun enough romp at the theater: the director of The Bourne Identity (B-) puts Brad and Angelina through various exercises in glossy violence, letting the two stars burn up the screen with their collective charisma and absurdly good looks. Sounds like all the makings of a breezy crowd-pleaser, especially to the studio executives. But although the movie slightly delivers on a few elements, the overall experience is very disappointing; when the end credits came up, I was shaking my head in mild disbelief.

The plot is nonexistent after about twenty minutes. We find out that John and Jane Smith are super-assassins working for shadowy agencies (I'm pretty sure it's two different agencies, but maybe not). We get to see when they meet each other for the first time, both being on missions in Bogota, Colombia (curious that they don't realize how similar their names sound). They are married "5 or 6 years later," each hiding from the other one the fact that they are a super-agent. When they get sent to the same assignment independently to kill each other, they get wise to their spouse's secrets and spend the next several minutes secretly confirming their respective life partner's agenthood.

The movie is ludicrous from here on out as the story huffs towards its measly ending. The rest of the "story" boils down to "The Agency wants them dead since they refused to kill each other. Now they must work together to avert these faceless bad guys." No information is given about why the deaths were ordered, what the agency is and what their aims are, who Vince Vaughn's character is, who the decoy guy with a Fight Club shirt on is, and so on.

The scriptwriting is incredibly banal and frustrating; it's as if the suits at Fox purposely edited out anything that would give this movie even an ounce of cohesion or plausibility. They know that the summer throngs will swallow it up until the profit margin starts to widen. To me, this is basically contempt for the audience; film companies just throw any ol' thing out into theaters - no matter how bad or embarrassing it is in reality - and then cackle with laughter as swept-up moviegoers deliver a multimillion-dollar opening. The satisfaction is not on the bottom of the pyramid in such cases.

Pitt and Jolie of course have to carry the film, and they do it somewhat admirably. The fact that they can wring a few low-grade laughs from the material they have is a testament to their charm - obviously it is their stunning sexiness that sells the whole package. I thought their in-house brawl was vicious and well done, and the main car chase scene is also decent. But then again, the movie's imagination extends about as far as having that freeway car chase as its climax, which is completely unoriginal. There is some steam in these sequences, but not nearly enough to power this film's engine for the whole trip. I wish Mr. & Mrs. Smith were a lot more well thought-out.
Scott's Grade: C
Scott's Overall Grading: 417 graded movies
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'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' Articles
  • Craig's review C+
    June 11, 2005    I have to give it thumbs down on the fact that it didn't utilize the concept as well as it could have. -- Craig Younkin
  • Friday Box Office Analysis (6/10)
    June 11, 2005    The blockbuster figure for Smith is extremely impressive given that Tomb Raider already had a giant built-in audience from the video game, and since then Jolie?s track record has not exactly been hot. -- Lee Tistaert
  • Weekend Outlook Chat (June 10 - 12)
    June 10, 2005    After such a long slump, the second half of June looks promising. -- Staff of LMI