Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

At my son's request, we rented Mr. and Mrs. Smith today and had a family movie night (after the baby went to bed, of course -- she was entralled by The Polar Express before bedtime). I managed to make it through the movie, hoping that I'd see something good from Angelina Jolie.

What is the attraction of so-called "action movies"?

I was bored out of my skull almost the entire time. There is essentially no plot to this movie, and I think it has that in common with a lot of action films. I'm sorry, but it takes more to hold my attention than people diving around in obviously choreographed moves (no real soldier would hold a gun the way these two do -- the recoil would destroy your aim every time). Blowing things up continuously doesn't earn you any points, either. I thought there might be some interesting dynamic between Pitt and Jolie, but the dialogue is flat and forced throughout the movie. This seems to be true of most action movies, at least the few that I've seen.

It doesn't have to be that way. The Bond films are action movies, as are the Indiana Jones movies. Yet none of these are action for it's own sake. They have a complicated plot, usually a puzzle that has to be solved. How much harder is it to add a layer story instead of endless scenes of flying bullets and knives? Pretty hard, apparently. Mr. and Mrs. Smith seemed to rely on it's cute premise: boring married couple turns out to be competing super-assassins (wait, wasn't that done already in True Lies?). Unfortunately, the premise doesn't hold any longer than it takes to read the synopsis.

At least Harrison Ford can deliver a witty line...

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