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Battle of the sexes

Mr and Mrs Smith
Genre: Romantic comedy
Cast: Brad Pitt, Angelina
Jolie, Vince Vaughn
Director: Doug Liman
Storyline: A bored, married couple rekindles their relationship, literally... and blows their house up in the process
Bottomline: Love hurts (especially when it's with a professional assassin) They weren't kidding when they called Mr and Mrs Smith a tale of the battle of the sexes. This romantic comedy starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (or is it Broli now that they are a couple?) have the two stunners shooting at each other, hitting, punching elbowing and kneeing in the groin.

The film opens with them at a marriage counsellor's office. Mr Smith, that's John to friends, family, and close associates, says they have married for five years... ``Six," intersperses Mrs Smith, (Jane). Yeah, so they have been married five or six years but now their relationship has reached an impasse.

Their counselling sessions serve as a base for the plot.

John Smith (definitely not his real name) meets Jane (yeah right!) in Bogota amidst flying bullets. They fall in love, get married, but fail to reveal to each other their true professions. In reality, John's construction business is the cover for a company of hit men. Jane does something connected with Wall Street but her office is full of women who are deadly, professional killers.

What happens when, after five (or six years), they are sent for the same assignment and discover that they are bitter professional rivals? Ah well, that's their love story.

The film is a strange mix of light-hearted romance and violence. Some of the lines and situations are genuinely funny though they make you giggle more than guffaw. The film climax has a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid kind of moment when the Smiths are in a room surrounded by their enemies and they charge out, guns blazing. Worth mentioning is the car chase to Air Supply's ``Making love out of nothing at all" but it loses its punch (as does the movie) because it's too long.

Pitt and Jolie's squabbling is reminiscent of two irritable siblings. They simmer on screen because they are both gorgeous, but their onscreen chemistry is nothing to call the fire department about.

SUSAN MUTHALALY

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