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MR. AND MRS. SMITH (2005)

Director: Doug Liman
Screenplay: Simon Kinberg

Cast: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Adam Brody

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, sexual situations
Color, 120 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller/Comedy

Reviewed by Jim Lewis

I have watched this movie twice. First in a theater, then on DVD before writing this review. Even with these two viewings, I cannot remember 95% of the movie. I watched the trailer and was amazed at the action Iíd wiped from my memory. Perhaps the controversy over Brad Pitt being lured away from wife Jennifer Aniston while on the "Smith" set added some lurid spice for viewers.

I must add, this film has grossed over a half a billion dollars. So they did something right. Iím just not sure what it was. Was it high quality action scenes performed by consummate action pros Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? The two stars, high powered director, great production values? I believe whatís missing here is a story that I can get excited about. If you chose three packages of your very favorite movie snack, nibbled and sipped throughout the entire movie, you would remember enjoying the experience, but youíd remember the flavors more than the film.

The movie is not offensive. They are both beautiful stars. Pleasures to watch. Sincere, earnest, even. But, I never felt their characters were at risk, which I consider a flaw.

When the bored married couple named Smith are hired to kill each other, so what. They are each the best killer of their gender on the planet. No villain can cheat death when facing these adversaries, whether with pistols, machine guns or throwing daggers. However, husband and wife easily outmaneuver each other, stray bullets, rockets, and maybe kitchen sinks (I canít remember) blasting through walls and furniture, but never the intended target.

Director Doug Liman is no cherry to action. He directed "The Bourne Identity" (2002) and took that action film to new heights. He is also the Executive Producer of TVís "The O.C." hinting that he knows a thing about portrayal of romance, deceit, and troubled marriages.

If you are a fan of either of the two stars, you will enjoy the film. When you see Pitt or Jolieís next film, you may mutter, "They havenít done anything in a while." What about "Mr and Mrs Smith?" "Oh, that! Yeah."

Grist for post-movie chat over coffee: What do you think is the secret to this movie making SOOOO much money?

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