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  • Writer's pictureAlex Orona

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Remake Changes the Dynamic But Keeps The Thrill

Donald Glover, creator of other hit shows Atlanta and Swam comes a reimagining of Mr and Mrs Smith. The original film was released in 2005 starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the heights of their careers. It focused on a married couple who were secretly spy assassins but the trouble comes when they are tasked with assassinating each other. It’s a fun premise that mixes in normal marital squabbling with high intensity espionage action. This current Donald Glover iteration, streaming on Amazon Prime, skews from the template but keeps the spirit of what makes the original a cult classic. 

and Mrs. Smith (2024) begins with our main characters, John and Jane, separately applying for a super secret spy position, both having previous military backgrounds. The catch is you get paired up with a stranger and there is to be no contact with your family and friends ever again. From here, the show mixes romcom elements, with high stakes action. The performances of Donald Glover and Maya Erskine give emotional nuance to their characters which in turn adds to their fantastic chemistry. There’s more at stake here between two strangers who actually want to make their marriage work. 

Unlike the original, the action sequences here are paced out sparingly, used more for emphasizing the relationship dynamics between John and Jane. While the series doesn’t stray from creating big action set pieces, they are few and far between with some episodes being completely devoid of action entirely. There’s a great deal of restraint used so when the action does pop off, it’s that much more meaningful. Also, considering the season takes place over the course of a year, the action also serves as a catch up as to where our agents are in both their skill level as well as their relationship status. 

What shines most are Donald and Maya. They give depth and gravity to their characters as well as have a great interplay between each other. It’s evident in how serious moments shift to comedy so naturally between the two. The season also benefits from a bevy of guest stars such as Michaela Coel, John Turturro, Paul Dano, Alexander Skarsgard, Ron Pearlman and Parker Posey, who all fit into that universe as naturally as our leads. Donald is cool as a cucumber and Maya gives a level of eccentricity subtle yet charming. The one knock against the series has to be the amount of mysteries they start, but save for a possible future season. Obviously most creators are optimistic for more seasons, but I was definitely dying for a few more answers than I was given. All the more reason to hope for more of the show. 

I can’t recommend Mr. and Mrs. Smith enough. Its action is used effectively, the characters are emotionally nuanced and the comedy moments are genuinely well done. The pacing is slower than the original but that’s because it’s absolutely different. It’s more in depth, it’s a character piece, and less of an action thriller. Like a lot of Glover's work, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is thoughtful and lets moments breathe when necessary. At the end of the day, remakes are remakes, but this one should just have a different title because it’s something very different and very worth your time. 



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