Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eh, On The Action-Adventure Front: Mr. And Mrs. Smith Fizzles.

The Good: Everything looks good
The Bad: Lack of convincing characters or acting, Predictable plot twists
The Basics: Unfit for consumption by clever individuals, Mr. And Mrs. Smith is simply another Hollywood action-adventure with nothing truly to recommend it.

Sometimes we sit down to watch a movie with the hope, the barest hope, that it will not be as terrible as we suspect it can be. Mr. And Mrs. Smith, if you want the short answer, is just as terrible as you might expect of a big-budget Hollywood, action adventure movie staring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Unlike the far better Jersey Girl, which suffered because of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's relationship off-camera, this piece of cinematic garbage apparently benefited from Jolie and Pitt's off-camera whatever.

John Smith and Jane Smith are bored with their marriage and in counseling to work on their problems. There, they recount what led them to counseling; they both learned that the other was lying to them about the same thing, in fact. Both John and Jane are hired assassins working for different companies. When one of Jane's missions is blown by John, he becomes her target and the two set out destroying just about everything in order to get to one another.

Along the way, they learn how much of their relationship was built on lies and how much genuine feeling they have for one another. And it all resolves itself in a feel-good Hallmark movie-of-the-week type way.

It's just crap. Save yourself the time and money. Better yet, watch a decent action adventure, one with brains. Spend a little more and get the first season of Alias on DVD. That's a vastly better use of your time and money. And I can say that without even knowing you. You can do better than this.

The best thing about Mr. And Mrs. Smith is that it looks good. The people are unnaturally attractive, their hair doesn't get messed up or singed off when giant explosions go off near them, and the explosions themselves look great on the DVD. This is a movie where things look good and Doug Liman, the director, hopes that will be enough.

He's wrong. First off, Simon Kinberg, the writer of this movie, should be forced to turn in his WGA card and spend the next five years selling ice cream. There was not a line of redeeming dialogue in this entire movie. The characters are utterly flat and it makes no sense whatsoever that they would spend minute after minute recounting all of the lies between them and then conclude that they should be together. This is stupid even for Hollywood fare.

The acting is all-around terrible as well. Brad Pitt supports the notion that he is simply good looking and can't act. There is none of his brilliance from 12 Monkeys (reviewed here!), none of his humor or charm from his guest appearance on Friends, nothing but a guy in a suit playing a part Keeanu Reeves could have covered just as insightfully. Angelina Jolie and Vince Vaughn (Pitt's sidekick and best friend in the movie) are dull and cringeworthy unfunny, respectively. Vaughn's appearances on screen are enough to make the viewer grab the remote to fast forward through his banal, predictable jokes and phrases.

The plot is predictable and all of the reversals that are executed, we've seen before in better works. I should try to say more that's bad about this film, but that's it. That's all there is. You have a terrible script with an inane plot, lousy dialogue delivered by actors who either can't or aren't performing and you have a lousy movie. This is it.

For other works with Michelle Monaghan, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Source Code
Mission: Impossible III


For other film reviews, please be sure to visit my Movie Review Index Page for a complete, organized list of my movie reviews!

© 2012, 2006 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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