Smiths lock eyes and load weapons |

Smiths lock eyes and load weapons

Dan ThomasPost Independent Staff

A scene with two characters climbing Glenwood Canyon and a quick mention of Aspen meant Mr. & Mrs. Smith was probably the most appropriate movie to review.But it was a line from the trailer that helped me look past my many misgivings; Angelina Jolie had me at Whos your daddy now?(What might be the flip side of my desire to avoid Mr. & Mrs. Smith made itself apparent during the opening credits, when I again decided that I cant wait for Fantastic Four even though Im pretty sure its going to be pretty bad. Its either the inability to grow out of an adolescence full of comic books or the Dont even think about it/Never do dialogue that sealed it.)As much as I wanted to skip Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I ended up pushing to review it and not just because it meant not having to be that 30-year-old guy buying one for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And as much as I wanted to hate Mr. & Mrs. Smith for what smacked of slavish devotion to formula, I couldnt help but like it.Its because the formula works. Director Doug Liman, and probably every film-school freshman, knows what happens when you take two absurdly good-looking leads and have them banter in domestic double-talk before eventually blowing up most of the special effects budget. Even so, the result in El Jebel front-row-only for the Sunday matinee surprised me.Even the characters seem based on simple, winning arithmetic: As John Smith, Brad Pitt is basically half Rusty Ryan from Danny Oceans posse, half Tyler Durden (which I guess makes him a quarter Edward Norton, but I digress). And giving Angelina a scattergun or dressing her up in a S&M outfit wouldnt seem to be a bad business plan for anyone.In a way, the characters are my biggest lingering disappointment with Mr. & Mrs. Smith but that the movie seemed too long and dragged occasionally are definitely secondary. As someone who counts Grosse Pointe Blank and Limans own Swingers among my favorite few films, I felt like John and Jane Smith were more caricatures than characters. Maybe Limans one of those guys whose characters run inverse to his budget.But movies seem to have become progressively dumber every summer since about Die Hard II, and within that frame of reference, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a gem.And even if that werent true, the Whos your daddy now? alone is worth the price of admission.

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