Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Alias Smith and Smith

This was the second review I gleaned from satellite TV on November 19, 2008. I think you'll find to was more an act of therapy than interest that made me watch it.

Tuesday night I saw that the Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie "look-how-attractive-we-are" movie known as Mr. & Mrs. Smith was on. It was too busy an evening to watch and I really didn't want to put forth the effort to see it anyway.


Much like reruns of Law and Order, I won't seek them out or look for them on the guide but will usually end up watching them if they're on. The Pitt/Jolie movie was like that. I had no interest in seeing this movie, least of all Jolie's bee-stung lips but somehow it drew me in.

In case you haven't seen it, the movie is about the married couple of Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Smith who are super secret super spies for the government but they don't work for the same government agency. But wait... it doesn't stop there, NEITHER of them knows that the other is also a spy! They both think the other is in the business world doing businessy things and make an enormous amount of money. As evidenced by their house.

John Smith (Pitt) works for an agency that has a low-key construction business as a cover. John is given superspy jobs by his secret spymaster as the hustle and bustle of the office goes on outside his door. It's all very archetypal. Of spy movies. Jane Smith (Jolie) on the other hand is in a high caliber, shiny, sky-scraper, office with secret slidey doors. Her shiny office is populated with super sexy all female spies with shiny desks, shiny lamps, and shiny computers. The boss, I don't know if his name was "Charlie", had the voice of the narrator for City Confidential, which I think is on the A&E channel. All very "Fox Force Five" if you ask me.

The plot complication comes with a misunderstanding that forces the couple not only to blow their cover to each other but also to try to kill one another. Keep in mind this is a romantic comedy. Or maybe it's an action comedy. Or maybe it's an action-romance with a little comedy thrown in... Ah, doesn't really matter.

The middle of the movie is all hide, seek, shootout, then fistfight. This carries over to the team up-against "them" last quarter of the movie. The action is good and the banter is surprisingly well done. There's even a sequence that shows the true value of a Dodge minivan. All you minivan haters out there could learn a thing or two from it. Anyway these two should really get together in real life.

One problem with Mr. and Mrs. Smith was that there were too many Deus Ex Machina moments for my liking. More than a few times I sez to myself, "myself" I sez, "Where did he/she get that gun/vehicle/high-tech device? It wasn't there in the last scene!" And why does she have a bandoleer on if her gun has a clip? Suspension of disbelief, my Aunt Fannie!

Nearing the end I found myself wondering just how they were going to end it because it was a real rock-and-hard-place situation. Apparently I wasn't alone because it looked like the creators of this flick didn't know either. The ending was cheesier than the closing minutes of a Mel Brooks movie.

Throw in a big goofy, wisecracking buddy for John, and make him that guy from Dodgeball and I'll give the movie a C+. They did, he was in the movie.

C+ (If your wife sends you to rent a movie you can feel comfortable getting this instead of something with "endearment", "waiting", "love", or "tourist" in the title.)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Trailer.
Dodgeball trailer.

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