Directed by: Doug Liman
Written by:Simon Kinberg
Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Adam Brody, Kerry Washington
Released: June 9, 2005
Grade: B

If your husband/wife was a secret agent would you know?  Well that’s the case for both John Smith (Pitt) and Jane Smith (Jolie), if that is their real names.  They’ve been married for “five or six years” and have managed to hide their true occupation from their partner.  I surprised they weren’t more suspicious with all the inter-state conferences and rumblings in the middle of the night.

Their cover is about to be blown however when they are each assigned the same target, a young kid by the name of Benjamin Diaz (Brody).  John and Jane’s relationship was already a little rocky but now it’s about to get outright nasty.  Each thinks that they have been secretly used by the other to obtain classified information.  Now it’s personal!

If Mr & Mrs Smith is a comedy, then it’s quite funny.  There are some humorous scenes that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt share with a therapist.  There are also some funny lines from a fellow agent named Eddie (played by Vince Vaughn).  I’m not usually a fan of either Pitt or Jolie but they unexpectedly work well together as a comedic duo.  Their sarcasm is spot on.

If Mr & Mrs Smith is an action flick, you’ll be sorely disappointed.  There is one scene where Pitt and Jolie are fired upon a hundred times and are uninjured.  Yet when they remove their bullet proof vests, it is littered with bullet marks.  How did every bullet manage to hit them in the chest but not anywhere else?  Further more, there’s a scene in which Pitt and Jolie fire at each other with huge bazookas and other explosive devises.  They are clearly trying to kill each other which is why it’s such a cop-out when the two come face to face with a pistol and don’t have the “heart” to kill one another.

I also have a problem with the underlying premise behind this adventure.  The two agencies want Mr & Mrs Smith killed because they have just realised they are married and think they could inadvertently spill information to the other.  Firstly, what kind of dodgy background checks are they doing?  Secondly, why are the two agencies working together to kill them?  Doesn’t this contradict why they want them eliminated in the first place?

The limitations in the screenplay are off set by the good direction from Doug Liman.  If you don’t know of him, Liman is a great director.  He’s got style and his film’s always have a fresh, fast look to them.  Many will have seen his last effort, The Bourne Identity, but my own favourite was 1999’s Go.  Liman also directed the very first episode of TV’s teen drama The O.C.  Fans of that show will enjoy the funny cameo in Mr & Mrs Smith of the witty Adam Brody.

I’ve had two people point out how much bus stop advertising there has been for this film.  Posters are everywhere and 20th Century Fox are expecting big things.  It’s slightly better than your average Hollywood summer blockbuster but that’s as positive of an endorsement as I’m prepared to give.