Mr. & Mrs. Smith is now streaming on Prime Video.
Picking up on the creative potential from director Doug Liman’s 2005 romantic spy thriller of the same name, the eight-part episodic of Amazon MGM’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith takes on a much more offbeat tone with a world-expanding vision that plays more on situational comedy and drama tones than genre fans might expect. The result is a smartly-crafted and well-fleshed out take on the property from creators Francesca Sloane and actor Donald Glover who headlines the show in title form next to Maya Erskine.
The treatment this time around lends a psychological profile of our main characters, government assassins working for a black ops agency that assigns taskes ranging from low-risk to super high-risk. From the outset of their arranged partnership screened as a marriage, both John (Glover) and Jane (Erskine) are tasked with acquainting themselves with one another, oftentimes in moments that repeatedly force them to confront their own vulnerabilities and emotions as two people merely acting as a married couple for the sake of the job. What ensues is an exploration of the varying layers of both characters as the show treks between missions and the introspective drama in between, including when they wind up seeking the aid of a marriage counselor whilst having to cloak their disclosures in code speak.
With the unfolding drama in the forefront, the action largely takes a backseat, surfacing with remarkable effect as John and Jane are faced with increasingly dangerous missions, including one that finds them finagled by a psydo-friendly couple into another deadly mission. The best part is when just sometimes, both John and Jane are able to peel back the layers little by little to come to some form of conflict resolution, whilst at other times when left alone with their emotions, impulse takes over. The last episode conveys the pending result of this aspect of both characters as the show lends its signature nod to the original film, ultimately pitting John and Jane in a locked and loaded death match that unravels deep scars and even deeper truths, followed by an explosive cliffhanger that dares to wink at a hopeful second season.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith does start off a little slow, but manages to kick things off a little further a few episodes in. Both Glover and Erskine are full of charm at times, fantastic in their roles in both dramatic and physical fashion during their crucial shots, featuring fight sequences by Tara Macken who also doubles Erskine for the show’s run. It’s a peculiar series to check out, and particularly worth weighing in on if you enjoyed what the heydays of Bradgelina brought to the screen compared to the latest from Gloverskine…
I couldn’t help myself. Sorry, not sorry.
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Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.