Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a first-rate piece of Hollywood blockbuster craftsmanship. Slick in the best sense of the word, the film seems effortless. By underplaying, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie consistently get laughs during the lengthy opening act of the film that establishes their stifling marriage. Director Doug Liman establishes their cold, ornate suburban home without lingering on it, allowing the surroundings to have the same suffocating effect on the viewer that it does on the characters. The film is not exactly deep, but it does offer more depth than most films like it. Liman and company have taken time to make the audience care about the characters, and provided enough thematic subtext about the nature of marriage. Because of this, the flamboyant action sequences have an extra kick. The car chases and shoot-outs generate excitement and laughs without ever sacrificing clarity. The expert editing not only allows the viewer to understand where everybody is and why each person acts the way they do, but also allows the comedic moments to register without slowing down the action. In the skillful hands of Doug Liman, a director who knows how to stage action scenes and comedy with equal aplomb, Mr. and Mrs. Smith offers something more than just another piece of Hollywood product without sacrificing any of the fun.
by Perry Seibert review