Review of Mr. and Mrs. Smith – Relationship in Hard Mode

Relationships are hard. They require communication, honesty with yourself and your partner, long-lasting chemistry, and most importantly, not shooting each other. That’s generally true, but at the core of Prime Video’s new series, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring Donald Glover and Maya Erskine. This series is based on the film of the same name by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and has a similar premise, but is nothing more than a remake.

In the 2005 film, John and Jane Smith are a married couple who, unbeknownst to each other, are top secret super spies. They’re tired of their marriage because it’s really hard for two people to be as fabulously gorgeous as they are. Things get wild when they discover their true identities, and we get everything you’d expect from a 2005 action flick, including tense dance sequences, a disheveled-looking Vince Vaughn, and advice. Gives for relationship, and The trailer is almost unwatchable.

The significant similarities between the film and the new show really end with the phrase “married secret agents.” These two know from the start that they are both agents. They are hired by an unknown employer who greets them via a chat app with the phrase “hihi”. And therefore they are called Hayhi. Together, the two take on high-risk missions, such as extracting information, protecting high-value assets, and damaging mobile phones. The action, in general, is entirely action-based, and secondary to the action, with a few exceptions where the shop brings it to the fore.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s tension comes not from having to protect their identities from each other, but from the fact that they are two strangers posing as husband and wife, and while these missions They do stressful life together. Missions aren’t even a background element in some of the series’ eight episodes. Instead, the two have to navigate many of the elements that normal couples do, but everything turns up to 11.

Each episode is named and themed as a turning point in the relationship, the first episode is the first date, while the second episode is the second date where they have to work through a miscommunication. They go on vacation to a beautiful, snowy place, hang out with another (very annoying) couple, and even go to therapy together.

There are also a few stunts in almost every episode. One that stands out in particular is John and Jane protecting a valuable asset played by Ron Perlman. While Perlman and his character may be in their 70s and his character may be a career criminal responsible for some unspeakable acts, this character has all the emotional maturity of a four-year-old. The Smiths don’t protect him, they keep him. This character unwittingly forces the couple to ask the tough question that comes when you meet someone organically and fall for them: Do you want kids?

Anyone who has been in a serious relationship will see versions of themselves in these characters. Glover’s John Smith is charming and smooth, while Erskine’s Jane Smith is cold and takes time to warm to someone. They are thrown not just into a relationship, but into a relationship on the rocks. Relationships can be as stressful and painful as they are fulfilling and rewarding, even without regularly putting couples in life-or-death situations. This inherent familiarity makes many situations intense viewing, and even with a lot of gunfire, it’s rarely the main reason for the tension.

Glover is a familiar face thanks to projects like Community and Childish Gambino, but Erskine is a relatively newer face who we’ve only seen in smaller projects: the awkward Maya Ishii-Peters on Hulu’s PEN15 comedy and the cool Mizu on Netflix. The blue-eyed samurai animation series. However, they are both charismatic, and I felt like I could see why these two fell for each other very quickly. Almost immediately I was rooting for them and wanting them to succeed.

However, the important thing is that both these characters are equally amateurs in love and intrigue. While the show takes time to reveal their stories, we can tell at the end of the series-opening interviews that maybe John and Jane are secret agents because the more traditional paths of life don’t work for them. They have the training to do what they do, but this wasn’t the first job either of them had applied for.

If you’re expecting a soft and charming photoshoot, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is not it. While many shows are deliberately retro, Donald Glover and co-producer Francesca Sloan aren’t interested in looking back. It’s a long, sometimes awkward, but often hilarious look at relationships that seem entirely rooted in 2024.

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