It may forever be remembered as the origin of the term "Brangelina," but "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" still holds up as a stylish, charming spy thriller. Unsurprisingly, the DVD release steers clear of the off-stage coupling between stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and focuses instead on how this summer blockbuster got made.
It may forever be remembered as the origin of the term “Brangelina,” but despite its tabloid connections, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” still holds up as a stylish, charming spy thriller. Unsurprisingly, the DVD release steers clear of the off-stage coupling between stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie — who don’t participate in the bonus features — and focuses instead on how this summer blockbuster got made.
More casual film fans without six hours to spare on multiple commentary tracks will be disappointed by this package. The three deleted scenes — which highlight even more mugging from supporting player Vince Vaughn — are like a cruel joke. The commentaries refer to a steamy sex scene that had to be trimmed, as well as earlier endings that featured the likes of Terence Stamp and Angela Bassett. Their absence suggests Fox will soon be touting “Mr. & Mrs. Smith: The Ultimate Expanded Collector’s Edition.”
But until that day comes, at least those who love commentary will be satisfied. All three tracks do a decent job of offering insight and anecdotes over bland praise for the stars (though writer Simon Kinberg does work up a sycophantic lather over the couples’ “mythic” screen presence).
Director Doug Liman describes his fight to control the film’s tone — which dances between comedy, romance and suspense — through lighting and the timing of character entrances, proving there’s a great deal of substance beneath the polished cool of his work.
Commentary by Michael Tronick, the film’s editor, suggests just how much an editor does to make an actor sexy (or for that matter, make a film coherent). The same is true for producers Akiva Goldsman and Lucas Foster, who bicker jovially about the ways each tried to guide the movie’s development.
This package’s greatest strength, in fact, is its reminder of how many people must sweat in order to make a movie seem effortless. That’s a decent reward to get from a DVD, even if it can’t come bundled with the steamier scraps from the cutting room floor.