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DAVID EDWARDS ON THE NEW MOVIES: HITS AND MRS; SEE IT: MR AND MRS SMITH Cert 15, 119mins.

Byline: DAVID EDWARDS

John and Jane Smith are the perfect suburban couple - wealthy, stylish and just so in love. But beneath the white picket-fence respectability, Jane doesn't head a temp agency at all, while John most definitely isn't in construction.

Unknown to their neighbours - and each other - both are international contract killers who've just been handed jobs that could spell an extremely messy divorce.

With the blockbuster season just kicking off, this action-relationship-comedy-thriller starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is a high-octane, wise-cracking slickathon that'll put cheeks on seats and a great big grin on your face.

The film starts brilliantly with the combative couple striving to save their relationship at a marriage-counselling session. "When did you first meet?" asks the shrink. "Five years ago," replies John, before Jane coolly corrects him: "Six." It's a smart, endearing intro that'll have everyone rocking in the stalls. Everyone except Jennifer Aniston, of course.

The action then cuts to the couple's homelife as our ludicrously good-looking leads bicker over the new curtain fabric and whose turn it is to pass the salt. It's all poisonous put-downs and acid wit as the bored Smiths kill time before sneaking out to kill their marks without the other knowing.

Things hot up when they get double-booked on a job, with life getting seriously complicated on their next assignment: each other. The result is a bit like War Of The Roses, only with pump-action shotguns.

As the deadly game of matrimonial cat-and-mouse ensues, the less-than-loving couple pull every trick in the book to finish each other off, climaxing in an all-out gunfight in their home. The best bit comes when John sets about booting in his beloved with all the frenzied enthusiasm of a demented soccer hooligan before a black stiletto shoots out to hit him straight in the nuts. Genius.

All right, it's hardly the most original film, with the "honey, I'm a hitman" schtick done before in Prizzi's Honor and True Lies. But as an undemanding Friday night popcorn flick, this is right on the money.

Let's just hope Jen isn't watching.

THE REEL LOWDOWN

BEST QUOTE: "Are you still alive, baby?" Jane checks on hubby's health after chasing him with a gun.

BEST BIT: A shotgun-toting face-off between the Smiths.

WORST BIT: Not exactly memorable and it does go on a bit.

IF YOU LIKED... True Lies, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind... YOU'LL LIKE THIS.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2005
Words:405
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