Movie Reviews

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) – Film & Wine Club

mr-and-mrs-smith-movie-reviewDirector: Doug Liman

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Runtime: 120 Minutes

Main Cast: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Adam Brody, Kerry Washington, Keith David, Chris Weitz, Rachael Huntley, Michelle Monaghan, Stephanie March

Plot: John (Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie) have been happily married for five (or six!) years, but they’re now stuck in a rut. It’s remarkable they made it that far, as unbeknownst to each other, they’re both spies, working for rival organisations. It all comes crashing down on them when they both become each other’s next target.

My Thoughts: So we realised that I have a particular type of movie at our last Film & Wine Club, and this time we learnt that my Mum does too! Her two picks so far have been True Lies and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Clearly, she loves spy movies where the spies lie to their spouses about their profession! Now I’m wondering if she might be a spy… Anyway, I was excited to see her next pick because I’ve heard it’s a fun movie and I’ve actually seen very little of Angelina Jolie’s work!

It was every bit as fun as I hoped it would be. You obviously have to go in with an open mind, I couldn’t hide a chocolate bar from my husband, let alone a secret life as a spy, but if you’re up for a bit of silliness there’s a lot to enjoy! Whilst I’ll always hold a grudge on behalf of Jennifer Aniston, it’s impossible to deny the chemistry between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie here. I mean, my goodness, I need to open a window just thinking about them together! That might be the UK heatwave though, come to think of it.

One of my favourite little details was the teams behind the Smiths. Jane works alongside an all-female team and they have a stunning building to work in, with plush furnishings and a neat and calm atmosphere. Whereas John and his boys barely look dressed at the best of times and work from one of the most run-down rooms I’ve ever seen. The banter is so much fun, too. It felt a little bit too long for me but it’s definitely something I would watch again.

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Best Bit: There are some great moments where I really thought for a moment one of them might have actually killed the other, but the fight scene at their house is by far the best scene in the whole movie, I think most people who have seen this would agree. Although I bet dominatrix Angelina Jolie would be a close second!

Worst Bit: I use this phrase too much, but if I put my critic hat on I’d say the movie works best when it isn’t fulfilling the plot. It needs one of course but some of the story just feels forced and it’s just a lot more fun to see spies in action!

Fun Trivia: After the Smiths discover each other’s identities, Jane speeds away in the car and John runs after her. He ends up tripping and crashing through a fence, and his gun goes off. The trip was a mistake, and Brad Pitt’s reaction, as well as his following ad-lib, “Oh dear God!”, were genuine.

My Rating: 3 and a half broken glasses to use whilst raising a toast to a happy marriage.

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Movie Reviews

Locked Down (2021)

locked-down-movie-poster-review-2021Director: Doug Liman

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama

Runtime: 118 Minutes

Main Cast: Anne Hathaway, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Stephen Merchant, Mindy Kaling, Lucy Boynton, Mark Gatiss, Ben Stiller, Claes Bang, Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon

Plot: Set in London during the COVID-19 pandemic, Linda (Anne Hathaway) and Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) put aside their differences after splitting up but being forced to still live together for the meantime, and attempt a high-risk jewellery heist at the UK’s most exclusive department store, Harrods.

My Thoughts: Why do I do this to myself? I had the worst week last week for multiple reasons, all of them directly related to the pandemic, and as a result only watched one movie the whole week. What kind of a movie? A movie all to do with the pandemic. I’m an idiot, aren’t I? At least Songbird (2020) knew it wanted to be a disaster movie, this one was just bad. Mostly because it just still feels too soon to think about Lockdown 1.0 with fondness whilst desperately struggling under Lockdown 3.0, but it had plenty of other issues too.

Firstly, how are we meant to root for two characters who are simply so unlikeable? I really sympathised with Paxton to begin with, his depression tinged with anger and loathing felt horribly similar to how I’m feeling, but crickey I hope I’m not half as annoying about it. The movie has a surprisingly stacked cast considering how indie it feels. I can only assume these people had so little to do in Spring/Summer 2020 that they jumped at the first chance they were given to make a movie!

It’s not all bad though. It honestly got better as it went on and I warmed ever so slightly to Linda and Paxton. The running joke about Paxton’s false identity of Edgar Allen Poe was quite funny and in a few years time the thought of queuing up outside your local corner shop for toilet roll will be mildly amusing at the least. The heist itself was probably the most interesting part but don’t go expecting scenes straight out of an Ocean’s movie…it’s much tamer than that!

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Best Bit: Anyone watching this who isn’t from the UK is going to be really confused at the nighttime scenes of everyone out on the street clapping and banging pans. Yes, during Lockdown 1.0, at 8pm every Thursday night we stood on our doorsteps and clapped for our incredible NHS. For the first few weeks it was incredibly heart warming. Then, in true British fashion, we took things too far and started banging pots and pans…which eventually turned into full on fireworks displays. Incredibly annoying when you’re trying to get a toddler to sleep! I’ve rambled, haven’t I? Anyway – it’s a funny scene and hand on heart, not exaggerated in the slightest.

Worst Bit: If queuing outside a shop wasn’t bad enough, most of the time you’d eventually get inside just to find everyone had already cleared the shelves anyway! Even now I eye up anyone buying more than 9 toilet rolls at a time. Paxton had the right reaction to that guy walking out with armfuls, “How many arses have you got?!”

Fun Trivia: Extras could not be cast due to COVID-19 and are played by real civilians and Harrods employees.

My Rating: 2 hedgehogs that are high as a kite in your back garden!

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