Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a 2005 action/comedy film, directed by Doug Liman and written by Simon Kinberg. The original music score was composed by John Powell. The film stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a bored married couple who learn that they are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other. A novelisation of the film was written by Cathy East Dubowski.
We first see John and Jane Smith, a couple who have been married
for "five or six" years, attending marriage counseling
. There, they tell the story of their first meeting in Bogotá
, where they met while both were secretly on the run from Colombian authorities. They quickly fell in love and were married. John later states that Jane "looked like Christmas morning" to him on the day they met.
In reality, however, John and Jane are both skilled assassins working for different firms, both among the best in their field, and each concealing their true profession from their spouse. Under these cover stories, John and Jane balance their apparently mundane marriage—which both of them find after a few years to be growing dull and suffocating—with their secretive work. When both are assigned to kill a man named Benjamin Danz (nicknamed "The Tank"), they encounter each other on the job and discover the truth. Both employers ask one Smith to eliminate the other, and each must choose between their personal and professional lives.
After a few "mild" attempts on each other's lives, fueled by a mutual sense of betrayal, the marital spat culminates in a heavily-armed battle in the Smith house. After a long, evenly-matched fight, with their house in utter destruction, they wind up with guns in each other's faces. John balks, and lays his gun down; Jane finds she cannot shoot her spouse either, and both succumb to their love instead. Mr. and Mrs. Smith reunite and rediscover each other. (Mr. Smith later states "We'll have to redo every conversation we ever had.")
However, the newly-rekindled Smith partnership is quickly threatened by their employers, who have now decided to eliminate the couple. John's best friend and coworker, Eddie, turns down a bounty of $400,000 for each Smith, but John and Jane find themselves under fire from a small army of other assassins. Fending off an attack which levels their house, the Smiths borrow their neighbor's minivan and successfully destroy three pursuing armored cars filled with attackers, all while bickering over their fighting styles and newly-discovered personal secrets. (Jane is furious when John reveals he was once in a quickly-annulled Las Vegas marriage before meeting Jane; likewise, John learns to his surprise that the man he thought was Jane's father is a hired actor, with Jane being an orphan.) When Jane discovers that John was once married she demands to know his ex-wife's social security number and other information to which John calmly replies, "No, you're not going to kill her."
After meeting with Eddie, the Smiths decide to fight together to preserve their marriage. They kidnap Danz from his high-security prison in order to give their employers something they want more than the Smiths. However, Danz confesses that he is merely a setup hoping to get a leg up on the business, hired jointly by their employers after they discovered that the Smiths were married in the hopes of having each Smith kill the other.
John and Jane decide to forgo their separate contingency plans and make their stand together. In the final part of the film, the Smiths—now working smoothly together as a team—defeat an extended attack by a large number of SWAT-like armed forces during a long shoot-out inside an IKEA-like department/home-improvement store.
The film ends back at the marriage counselor, where the happy Smiths state how much their marriage has thrived, realizing how happy they really are.
Reception and box office performance
As of Sunday October 29 2007
, the film has grossed approximately $468,336,279 worldwide.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 58% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 189 reviews, with the consensus that "although this action-romance suffers from weak writing and one too many explosions, the chemistry generated by onscreen couple Pitt and Jolie is palpable enough to make this a thoroughly enjoyable summer action flick." Barry Norman declared that Jolie can never be forgiven for the film.
Less than four weeks after its release in Colombia, the General Secretary of the City Hall in Bogotá, Enrique Borda, sent a letter of protest to the director Doug Liman. In the letter he states that:
It is evidenced, beyond any doubt, that the director and his production crew show a total level of ignorance by portraying [Bogotá] as incipient [...], primitive, with scarce hotel infrastructure, dominated by poverty, depressed, disorganized, with high levels of violence; in conclusion, totally chaotic and not attractive at all.
Borda also points out in his text that Bogotá was awarded with the title of "City of Peace" by the Unión de Ciudades Capitales Iberoamericanas (UCCI) and was declared "World Book Capital 2007" by UNESCO.
Two soundtrack albums were released from the film - a film score composed by John Powell and a soundtrack with songs used in the film. The albums were released at different times to avoid confusion, the former was released on June 28 and the latter on June 7, 2005.
In January 2006, ABC
announced that a television series was being produced based upon the movie. Writer Simon Kinberg and director Doug Liman were reunited to adapt the movie for television, and Jordana Brewster
and Martin Henderson
were hired in the roles played by Jolie and Pitt, respectively. Although a pilot
was filmed, ABC did not order the series and it was not on their 2007 fall schedule
A two-disc, unrated
version of the film was released on DVD
on June 6
, 2006. On the original DVD version during a commentary
with the director
, he mentions that he was not able to use as much sex
as they had originally filmed to meet the PG-13
Differences (in order of appearance)
- In the unrated version, the dance scene is extended with some sexual movements.
- In the rated version, Benjamin Danz receives his next assignment from Father (Jane's superior). This scene has been deleted entirely from the unrated version. Danz is now introduced when John gets the contract from his superiors to take him out.
- Some dialogue has been changed in the poker-hit sequence. In the rated version, John stumbles while grabbing the cash he has in his pocket, which provokes one of the poker players to show his gun to John. John says, "Whoa...that's cool, man." Afterward, he shows his money and says "See?" a few times to everyone at the table. In the unrated version, John says to gunman, "Dude...I'm just showin' you my bankroll, man," then follows with "You know what I'm sayin'?" instead of "see?"
- In the rated version, following the simultaneous "hits" by John and Jane, Jane is shown at home, changing back into her regular clothing behind a screen when John walks in. They exchange lies about what they did when they "went out". The film then cuts to John and Jane putting on phony "happy faces" and greeting their neighbors with joy. In the unrated version, the "lying" scene has been deleted entirely and has been replaced with a shorter scene where Jane and John are heading up their neighbor's walkway to go their party and are arguing about what they were doing when they "went out". Jane complains that John has "been drinking". It then leads into the scene where the door opens and John and Jane pretend to be "happy".
- In the unrated version, another scene with John and Jane, in bed, lying to each other to cover for their covert operations, has been added.
- In the unrated version, there is more of a lead-up to the initial confrontation between John and Jane. John sits in the car and thinks before putting on his wedding band and entering the house.
- In the rated version, after John breaks into Jane's building and Jane escapes, she and John exchange insults. John is shown shouting, "chicken-shit" and Jane responds with, "pussy". In the unrated version, Jane is no longer shown actually saying the word. Instead, we hear her say it off-screen with a full surprised reaction from John.
- In the unrated version, the shootout sequence between John and Jane, in their house, is slightly more extended.
- In the unrated version, the sex scene (after John and Jane's fist-fight) has been extended slightly, which John briefly performs oral sex on Jane.
- In the rated version, Eddie wakes up to see that there's a bulletin for a $400,000 hit on John Smith and another $400,000 hit on Jane Smith. In the unrated version, this scene has been deleted entirely.
- In the unrated version, in the van before the Smiths want to capture Danz and are comparing records, John adds the comment "are you counting innocent bystanders?" removing some of the double-entendre from the previous conversation.
- In the unrated version, the fight in the home improvement store is extended, featuring an ATV with a chaingun mounted in the rear.
- In the rated version, the climactic gun battle/dance scene had a version of Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros' Mondo Bongo underscored by John Powell playing behind it. In the unrated version, the scene no longer has music of any kind playing behind it. Instead, the explosions and bullets and rockets are the only things heard and they're slightly more emphasized.
- While Adam Brody's character, Benjamin "The Tank" Danz, is being interrogated by John and Jane, he is seen wearing a T-shirt featuring another one of Brad Pitt's films, Fight Club.
- Mr. And Mrs. Smith is referenced in a short segment of Robot Chicken called "Mr. And Mrs. Brady" where the Brady parents kill all of the kids.