If you enjoy watching two attractive people fire off loads of weapons, this is the movie for you. Brad Pitt (Mr. John Smith) and Angelina Jolie (Mrs. Jane Smith) play a (financially) successful couple with beautiful house, expensive cars, good careers and dinner always served at 7:00pm. They have been married for about 5 or 6 years and their life together, for all its outward appearances of success, has grown dull and unfulfilling. They are just beginning to seek professional help as the movie begins. What they’ve never revealed to one another is that they are each highly skilled assassins for hire. As the movie’s writer would have it, they accidentally cross paths when a hit is double-booked and thus discover what they’ve got most in common. But this town has only so much room for rival assassination firms, so the conflict in their relationship escalates as the movie works towards a resolution.
The plot line basically seems to exist to get Pitt and Jolie from one shootout to the next. Without the action, the story itself is about 10-15 minutes worth of the movie. But the story is enough fun that the action does fit within the storyline, even if it’s a tight fit using a shoe-horn, rather than distract and overwhelm the plot. Wait, didn’t I just say that the plot seems to exist to get Pitt and Jolie from one fight to the next? Well, that’s true, it does seem to be that way. But as the movie progresses and comes to its conclusion, I found that the two elements that usually clash for supremacy in an action flick–the action and the plot–aren’t as conflicted here: not because the plot doesn’t get kicked around by the action, but because the plot knows it’s role and does a reasonable job of being okay with that. It provides an entertaining and enjoyable skeletal structure on which hangs the guns, gadgets, laughs and gasps of the film. The comedic fun of “Mr and Mrs Smith” is juxtaposition of story and context–marital problems within a household of trained killers. I liked Brad Pitt as an actor more than Angelina Jolie in this film. He was more playful and wore the role the way you wear a pairs of shoes that have known your feet for a while. Jolie worked and they did have good chemistry together on screen, but she didn’t inhabit the role the way Pitt did. At times she seemed to be remembering some of her lines whereas he just seemed to be speaking.
3 out of 4 stars.