Mr. & Mrs. Smith premiered in June 2005 to mixed-to-positive reviews. Critics praised the very palpable chemistry between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie but were critical of the writing and execution. The film was a box-office success, grossing $487.3 million against a production budget of $110 million, but the huge scandal surrounding Pitt and Jolie’s relationship did undercut its achievements.
With the recent announcement that a television reboot will air on Amazon in 2022, starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Donald Glover, audiences were instantly on board with the idea. The talent involved is exciting enough and the story has several key things in its favor, but if the project is to succeed in 2021, some very necessary changes need to be made.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s relationship was the stuff of Hollywood dreams and nightmares. Not only was it seen as the reason why Pitt’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston ended, but it also cast Jolie in the uncomfortable and somewhat unfair role of the home-wrecker. At one point, Madame Tussaud’s even staged a scene from Snow White, casting Aniston as the Princess, Pitt as the Prince, and Jolie as the Evil Queen.
Brangelina’s relationship arguably contributed to a lot of Mr. & Mrs. Smith‘s success, but it also overshadowed any of its possible achievements. The show’s stars are immensely likable, so it’s unlikely they’ll get into any personal controversies.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith follows a bored upper-middle-class suburban couple who discover they are assassins working for competing agencies. It’s an interesting enough premise that captures the viewer’s curiosity but the original film fails to live up to its full potential.
With more hours to tell the same story, the streaming reboot has an immediate advantage. They can take all the extra time to truly develop the characters and make audiences care for them, something the original film didn’t quite achieve.
Many action projects ultimately feel unsatisfying because they prioritize elaborate fights and showy car chases over character development and plot logic. Mr. & Mrs. Smith commits these same mistakes, especially with its over-the-top and nearly implausible third act.
The series needs to find the right mix of action setpieces and engaging plot points to make the project feel worthy of the viewer’s time. It also needs to avoid overkill, especially once the obligatory final battle comes. Too many explosions get tiresome after a while.