Mr And Mrs Smith

Dom Robinson reviews

Mr And Mrs Smith
Distributed by
Cover

  • Cert:
  • Cat.no: 2780901000
  • Running time: 115 minutes
  • Year: 2005
  • Pressing: 2005
  • Region(s): 2, PAL
  • Chapters: 28 plus extras
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Widescreen: 2.35:1
  • 16:9-Enhanced: Yes
  • Macrovision: Yes
  • Disc Format: DVD 9
  • Price: £19.99
  • Extras: Deleted Scenes, “Making a Scene” featurette, Trailers, Audio Commentaries

    Director:

      Doug Liman

    (The Bourne Identity, Getting In, Go, Mr And Mrs Smith, Swingers, TV: The O.C.)

Producers:

    Lucas Foster, Akiva Goldsman, Eric McLeod, Arnon Milchan and Patrick Wachsberger

Screenplay:

    Simon Kinberg

Music:

    John Powell

Cast:

    John Smith: Brad Pitt
    Jane Smith: Angelina Jolie
    Eddie: Vince Vaughn
    Benjamin Danz: Adam Brody
    Jasmine: Kerry Washington
    Father: Keith David
    Gwen: Michelle Monaghan
    Mr Smith’s Boss (voice): Angela Bassett
    Marriage Counselor (voice): William Fichtner


CoverMr and Mrs Smith begins as a film that’s technically told in flashback, but this is a device that’s used a couple of times at the start and isn’t referred back to until the end, inbetween which the film is allowed to tell is tale at its own pace and very well this does it indeed.

The couple, John (Brad Pitt) and Jane (Angelina Jolie with some strange arm-popping veins – see right), meet by chance in Bogota, Colombia at a time where it’s not safe to declare that you’re a tourist on your own. Fast-forward a few years to the present and they’re having marriage troubles because they no longer have sex and can’t find any common ground, spending their time talking pleasantries only. They even lie to each other about their day jobs, but while out on their respective assignments, one day they discover that each other is actually a hired assassin and, as luck would have it, they both have the same target, Benjamin Danz (The O.C.‘s weedy-looking Adam Brody).

Then, later, because they’ve failed to kill one another within 48 hours of being set such a job, when the bad guys go against them both, the skill and direction depicted onscreen is of such a high calibre in the fun department that such entertainment really can’t be beat.

In fact, it’s very much like True Lies, but like the marriage gone wrong and it has plenty of intriguing interplay to keep you hooked. That said, clearly Fox picked up on this too as even the teaser trailer for this movie uses that classical piece from the end of the Arnie film!


CoverMr & Mrs Smith has a very sharp script, great chemistry between Angelina and Brad and is brilliantly-filmed and very engaging. It gets the balance between comedy/action (and a DTS soundtrack to annoy the neighbours with) just about right. And it makes you laugh when they go up against each other because there’s a lot of shooting, but they keep missing each other as badly as shots fired in The A-Team. And you know they’re going to have a hot shag afterwards, despite their marriage being empty in that department for a long time, but thankfully this 15-certificate is spared the romping shenanigans.

Of the rest of the cast, the only one who stands out is Vince Vaughn as the comic relief, Eddie, to Brad Pitt’s sharp-shooter and his character looks like it’s going to go elsewhere, but sadly doesn’t.

When this film came out at the cinema, I don’t think any movie critics watched the film itself, they just babbled on about the Brad/Jennifer/Angelina love-split thing so they could tie it in with their front cover stories. Was Brad mad to cheat on Jennifer? Well, who cares – it’s the film we’re reviewing here and the media ignored that, choosing to focus on their marital woes. Fact is, Jennifer Aniston is hot. Angelina Jolie is also hot, despite being clearly quite mad over some of the things she does like when she and her ex, Billy Bob Thornton, reportedly wore lockets each containing a drop of their own blood together. Hmmm…

Oh, and to bring things full circle a bit, Vince Vaughn is reportedly dating La Aniston.


Cover The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and is anamorphic. It looks colourful and striking throughout, but there is some slight stilted jerkiness on occasion where the mastering of the DVD seems to struggle a bit with the picture but it’s not enough to cause any major worries, and if the DVD is doing this then god knows what it would look like on the much smaller PSP screen. In fact, on that note, I’ve seen this DVD listed for £12.99 on Amazon (check the link above), so why would anyone spend almost twice that (£24.99) on the UMD?

Soundwise, we are treated to both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 soundtrack. I always go for the latter and it doesn’t disappoint when it kicks in for the action as the split-surround effects are very impressive. An example is the gunshots at the start of chapter 4, at a funfair, which are very precise and clear, making me wonder what had happened as I looked away from the screen for a moment. The sound overall only loses a point because at other times in the soundtrack things are a bit on the lifeless side.

Extras are rather thin on the ground, however. The Making a Scene featurette (8 mins) is about a car chase scene as the couple finally realise they’re working along similar lines. Presented in a 16:9 letterbox format (with a “Fox Movie Channel” onscreen logo in the corner – FFS!), this mixes in clips with chat from various cast andcrew members.

There are 3 Deleted Scenes, although they’re rather more like extended ones. One just gives Vince Vaughn an extra couple of minutes to mouth off. I’d include the last two back into the movie though, given the choice as they have additional stuff that’d sit nicely in there.

On top of this, there’s a Theatrical trailer and a Teaser trailer, both around two minutes each, but the latter has Angelina using a Gatling Gun which doesn’t appear in the main movie. Finally, there are 2 Audio Commentaries, one from director Doug Liman and writer Simon Kinberg and the other from producers Akiva Goldsman and Lucas Foster.

Basic subtitles are in English only although there are also subtitle tracks for both commentaries, there are 28 chapters which is fine for this length of movie and the menu blends in some action clips from the film to describe the quick change in John and Jane’s relationship between peace and mayhem.

Structurally, the only downside to this disc that could’ve been avoided is that there are also several bloody rental title trailers before you get to the main menu itself, which is highly annoying. At least these are individually chaptered and can be skipped past but please, Fox, just stick them as TRAILERS in the EXTRAS part of the menu! You really are just pissing off your customers who have paid good money for such a DVD.

Overall, the film is great entertainment, but as a DVD there are few extras so I’d recommend a rental first before considering a purchase.


FILM CONTENT
PICTURE QUALITY
SOUND QUALITY
EXTRAS


OVERALL
Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 2005.

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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