Mr & Mrs Smith

1 out of 10


Two Stars Blow Up A Luxury Home

Well known for mass producing the big budget, utterly plotless dirges like "XXX : State of the Union", "Charlie's Angels 2" and "The Fantastic Four", totally talent-free writer Simon Kinberg has dumped his latest screenplay onto celluloid like a cow evacuating its colon onto a grassy meadow. And the story here? Two people marry and 6 years later, each discovers that their spouse is a top spy and assassin working for the opposite side. After trying toi kill each other, they both fight together to kill all the assassins their own agencies send to kill them...and that is every twist and subplot in the entire movie. Calling the couple "John" and "Jane" is a giveaway at the start to the level of education in English, the writer has achieved. Rarely has one film shown how messed up Hollywood is. With 250,000 fresh new scripts dropping through studio letterboxes a year, how Kinberg's vacuuous script got financed and made is an insult to anyone with even the slightest in writing talent. Is he Rupert Murdoch's crack dealer or what? If they keep accepting his scripts, the only thing they'll be reading down in Tinseltown soon will be Chapter 11.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are superb in playing Mr and Mrs Smith, characters with no role. Little wonder they ended up under the covers, humping each other in real life as they really had nothiing else to do on set. Likewise, Vince Vaughn is always shy in the movie, slow to open doors and usually distant, maybe in the vain hope that he can collect his salary cheque from the studio without anyone actually knowing he was even in garbage this empty. Whereever plot should have been, hype has been aggressively pumped in to fill the void. With loads of bimbos dressed in skintight kit to draw attention away from the lack of a story, and extras by the busload being shot with ever bigger, high tech guns, "Mr and Mrs Smith" is exactly the sort of movie that is giving America such an appauling image overseas. At one point, Jolie's character, Mrs Smith, aptly sums up the movie with the analogy " Christmas morning"...Yep, shallow, commercial and filled with people you don't want to know doing things you don't want to see.

Billing it as comedy is straightforward fraud. I feared it would be just a one joke movie, but even that's absent. Most of what little has been attempted (mainly near the start) is just a variant of the old Hollywood standby of actors walking in and out doors to a corridor timed carefully enough that they always just miss each other and people pulling weapons from silly places. And with a complete lack of credibility or connection to the real world, "Mr and Mrs Smith" is well into the Fiasco Zone.

In the end, as bored with even just having to type out his script as we are to watch it, Kinberg just stopped. And I do mean "stopped". It's amazing. It really does just halt in an ending that is so flat and dull, it makes Holland look like the Himalayas. And after the film, the DVD has a schedule of deleted scenes. There's only three which posed a big question. How did they choose which three to delete when the whole film should have ended up on the cutting room floor?

Fun With Domestic Violence

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett