Even if the Brangelina media circus hadn't gone to town with reports of its stars' alleged off-camera cavorting, Doug Liman's screwball actioner would've still elevated eyebrows. After all, here was a summer tentpole that wasn't a sequel or prequel, or based on a graphic or actual novel. Headline news, indeed.
Not that there's anything especially Earth-shattering about Mr & Mrs Smith's concept, involving a pair of married hit-persons (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) hired to... take care of each other. Basically, we're talking Prizzi's Honor given a weapons upgrade for the PSP generation. But hey, who cares if the recipe's not new when the ingredients are so tasty - two lip-smacking leads and a helmer who's brought relish to both comedy (Swingers) and carnage (The Bourne Identity). Pitt and Jolie swagger and slink through each round of hiss hiss, bang bang with infectious glee, while Liman pumps panache into the set pieces - including the domestic to end them all.
Shame, then, about the lack of storytelling depth in a movie aimed ostensibly at grown-ups. The only non-cipher beyond our juicesome twosome is Vince Vaughn's momma's-boy middleman (who shines in the DVD's best deleted scene, an extended take of his Swingers-like kitchen conversation with Pitt). The informative Liman/writer Simon Kinberg commentary tells of Brad'n'Ange only meeting the day before shooting. Alas, their union remains the film's main legacy.