Here’s the picture: You’re a spy. Every morning you wake up, drive to your secret headquarters, check who’s on the hit list for the day, kill them, then come home to your loving spouse who is waiting with pork roast, wine, and no clue as to what you actually do for a living. You think you have everything under control, your life seems pretty swell, but for some reason your marriage is… stuck. The most ludicrous explanation as to why you and your spouse can’t talk in detail about the day-to-day struggle of the workplace is that perhaps they are a spy as well. But what are the odds of that? Mr. and Mrs. Smith balances comedy and action in this outrageous scenario of spy married to spy and neither having any idea. You think regular domestic disputes are bad; imagine if both parties were trained assassins who hide handguns and silencers in the board games cupboard.
One reason why Mr. and Mrs. Smith works so well is because it holds firmly to the idea that opposites attract. From the house, to the cars, to their personalities, everything is decorated in black and white. What John (Brad Pitt) and Jane (Angelina Jolie) have to figure out is how to meet in the middle with varying shades of grey. She is meticulous, precise, and totally anal while he is messy, rash, and blind to the details. The movie is constantly comparing them, and while both are excellent assassins, one is clearly more professional than the other. It is a major ego-burst when John realizes his wife is the bigger badass.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith is beautifully balanced between funny and action-packed. The first half settles mostly around the humour while the last half whips guns out of everything from fireplaces to garden sheds. Every comment whether obvious or nonchalant reappears later as a joke. When the truth comes out, however, and it’s time for the Mr. and the Mrs. to come clean, John and Jane don’t quietly hash it out over coffee like normal people. Oh no. They reveal their professional identities whilst evading three bulletproof BMWs in a freeway chase.
While I love Mr. and Mrs. Smith for bringing a little chaos to suburbia, the plot isn’t foolproof. Spoiler time: The Smiths know that apart they may have a chance at survival, but against all the odds they decide to stay together and combat their agencies. When the last man is killed, however, you’d think the Smiths would go into hiding to escape the bloodhounds from their organisations. Apparently not. We jump from a relentless onslaught of assassins to a final, happy session in couple’s therapy. I like that Mr. and Mrs. Smith ends on a high note, but I wouldn’t have complained if there was one little line from the agency saying, “You’re both too good at what you do. Let’s pretend this never happened and go back to killing mobsters on Monday.” Spoilers done.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith is one of my favourite movies because it is just too funny. Brad Pitt’s expressions are priceless, and it’s hilarious to see Angelina Jolie school him in the spy game. I give it a strong 9/10 because I can watch it over and over again and, even though I mouth along to most of the lines, Mr. and Mrs. Smith never ceases to entertain.