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Mr. and Mrs. Smith - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

By Amy Wasserman

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"Ocean's Eleven" ties the knot with "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" in the sure-to-be summer blockbuster "Mr. And Mrs. Smith." Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie shine as married assassins-for-hire dealing with a little more than common marital trouble when they discover each other's true identities.

As Jane Smith, Jolie brings new meaning to sexy, suburban wife in sleek pencil skirts and clinging sweaters while Pitt, as John Smith, dazzles in crisp designer suits. However, their business attire masks their true occupations.

To their neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Smith represent the perfect suburban couple. They attend neighborhood parties, and exchange polite morning greetings while picking up their papers. Even to each other they are ordinary 9-5 Americans, who brush their teeth over matching porcelain sinks and eat dinner precisely at 7:00pm every night. They attend marriage counseling and argue over the new curtains. Like many couples who have been married several years, they've stopped communicating and silence has filled the empty space between them. John and Jane hide from each other emotionally and professionally. Both keep secret weapons hidden from the other. A special code on the oven reveals Jane's arsenal, while John's lies buried beneath the tool shed. However, when both go after the same target they realize the web of lies they've been living in is far more tangled than it first appeared.

Now, keenly aware of each other John and Jane tip toe around their own house waiting for the other to strike. Jane takes the first shot leading to a knock-out, drag-down, house-destroying battle of epic proportions. From the moment of mutual revelation on, the action sequences take center stage. Underscored by brilliantly written comedic dialogue, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" breathes new life into the stagnate action movie genre.

Both Pitt and Jolie stretch their acting muscle juxtaposing single-minded ferocity with true caring and vulnerability. Vince Vaughn supports Pitt as the very Vince Vaughn-esque Eddie, while the brilliant Kerry Washington plays Jolie's right hand in an unfortunately small role. Adam Brody also brings his quirky charm into the mix in a role that for all intents and purposes asks 'What if we gave Seth Cohen a job in the contract killer business?' However, the lack of well-developed supporting characters feels unimportant in a film so overcome by its two stars. Pitt and Jolie smolder on-screen, and may prove that regardless of tabloid cover scandals, good movies will still make money.

In a world where most films touted as 'action' turn out to be little more than puffed-up popcorn movies, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" proves that edge-of-your-seat films can also make you laugh out loud and legitimately feel for the characters. Clean effects support the modern look of the film, and black and silver set pieces remind us that we are living the future now. The balance of modern couples, age-old relationship issues, and futuristic technology create a surprisingly believable world that sucks the audience in from the first line to the last.

Director Doug Liman's metaphor for marriage brings to life the phrase 'Sometimes I just want to kill my spouse!' With comedy expertly embroidered in every action sequence "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" avoids ever taking itself too seriously. Both men and women are sure to find this action/romance/comedy appealing. Finally, a movie even married couples can agree on.

For more information visit www.mrandmrssmithmovie.com.

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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