Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Not since the film The War of the Roses has the silver screen portrayed marital discord in such as humorous and violent fashion as it does in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

The film stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as the title characters who are approaching their sixth year of marriage, though Mr. Smith seems to be convinced it has only been five.

Tedium has set into their suburban lives, and the couple has entered counseling in an effort to help their lack of communication. The story of how they met and various aspects of their lives with one another paints the picture of how much the flame has dulled after such an explosive start for the couple.

As routine has their home lives have become, one thing that has not changed is their work. Unknown to each other, the Smiths are actually assassins for competing firms. Both Smiths are convinced that their spouse works in other fields and manage to complete most of their missions during the day or night under the guise of work for the cover careers.

Things change when both agents are assigned by their firms to a mission where they end up encountering each other from a distance. Unsure of whom the person they spotted is, they are ordered to eliminate the person in order to protect their cover.

This begins a rapid series of events that, as anyone who has seen the trailer will realize, the Smiths will figure out that the person they have been seeking is their very own spouse. While this destination is inevitable to the plot is not a surprise, the trip leading up to it, and the whirlwind of events that follows this discovery, is what really makes this film such an enjoyable ride.

Naturally when the two uncover their spouse’s true identity, the instincts of their professions as well as their pent up frustrations come out in an orgy of passion and violence that leaves a trail of devastation. The various encounters between the Smiths not only escalate on the violence scale, but due to issue such as pride, reputations, and betrayal, the objectivity and impersonal nature of their work are abandoned.

I think Shakespeare put it best when he said that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, as the scenes of Jane Smith unloading her pent up fury are almost as hysterical as the segments where John Smith takes his turn at the plate.

A prime example of the films ability to mix action and comedy to perfection is the classic dance scene where the two attempt to disarm one another in an effort to get the upper hand. Pitt and Jolie dance and exchanges barbs, as they keep the beat and discard the weapons they find, as they plot to gain the upper hand.

The film did lose a bit of its amazing momentum about a third of the way in, before regrouping and bringing the film to an action packed and very satisfying conclusion. The supporting work of Vince Vaughn is very funny, but sadly his presence is limited. The films works very well because the chemistry between the two leads is very strong, as are the action and humor sequences. Without a doubt one of the best movies of the summer and one not to be missed

4.5 stars out of 5