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.

mr-and-mrs-smith-brad-pitt-angelina-jolie

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.

mr-and-mrs-smith-broken-glass-fight

Movie Reviews

Fighting with My Family (2019)

fighting-with-my-family-movie-2019Director: Stephen Merchant

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 108 Minutes

Main Cast: Florence Pugh, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Lowden, Vince Vaughn, Stephen Merchant

Plot: Saraya Knight was born into a wrestling family. Her family perform wrestling shows across the country and even run their own wrestling school. Saraya and her brother Zak get the opportunity to try out for the WWE but troubles start when only Saraya is picked. Based on the true story of UK-wrestler Paige.

My Thoughts: I’m not a wrestling fan at all but I’m a sucker for Dwayne Johnson and I love British comedies, so I was really looking forward to seeing Fighting with My Family. As it turned out, despite a couple of cameos that didn’t mean anything to me, you don’t need to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this great little movie!

I think it was marketed as a pure comedy, but it actually has a lot of depth to it. I wouldn’t say it’s as perfect as Little Miss Sunshine, but it’s got that vibe for sure. When the movie is quite serious most of the time, it makes those few comedic moments that much funnier, and I laughed out loud quite a few times during this one. Stephen Merchant both wrote and directed this movie, and he did a fantastic job.

Dwayne Johnson only has a few scenes but they’re great moments. Vince Vaughn was a delight too! I don’t think I’ve seen him since he was the coach/captain/whatever in Hacksaw Ridge, and he’s back as a coach here. Nick Frost is as funny as you would expect him to be and Cersei Lannister Lena Headey is almost unrecognisable as a rock-chick come wrestler. And that’s just the supporting cast!

fighting-family-florence-pugh-jack-lowden

2019 is turning out to be quite a pleasant surprise so far for movies, I really hope the trend continues!

Best Bit: The scene at the family dinner table where Saraya’s family were doing their best to be polite was brilliant. It was British humour at it’s finest. That and the end credits had me in stitches!

Worst Bit: Saraya and Zak’s brother seemed like a completely unnecessary character to me. All he did was be released from prison and give some advice to Zak, and that was about it. I thought he might end up dragging Zak further down when he started to spiral out of control, but it never got that dark.

Fun Trivia: Dwayne Johnson was filming Fast & Furious 6 (2013) in the UK when he discovered the 2012 Channel 4 documentary “The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family” on TV in his hotel room about a crazy English family of wrestlers. The ‘underdog’ aspect of it instantly appealed to him, prompting him to contact British writer Stephen Merchant about developing the story into a feature-length biopic.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 monster truck tyres that I sure as hell couldn’t flip over multiple times like those badass ladies did.

fighting-with-family-monster-truck-tyres