Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005 film)
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a 2005 American action comedy film directed by Doug Liman and written by Simon Kinberg. The film stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a bored upper middle class married couple surprised to learn that they are assassins belonging to competing agencies, and that they have been assigned to kill each other. Besides being a box office hit, Mr. & Mrs. Smith also established Pitt and Jolie's personal relationship.
The film was released in the United States on June 10, 2005. It received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $487 million worldwide.
Construction executive John (Brad Pitt) and tech support consultant Jane (Angelina Jolie) are answering questions during marriage counseling. The couple has been married for "five or six" years, but their marriage is suffering to the point that they cannot remember the last time they had sex. They tell the story of their first meeting in Bogotá, Colombia, where they were both secretly on the run from the Colombian authorities. Since the authorities were looking for tourists traveling alone after a recent assassination, the two claimed to be together to avoid being questioned. They quickly fell in love and got married. John later states that Jane "looked like Christmas morning" to him on the day they met; she claims she thought he looked like "the most beautiful 'mark'" she had ever seen, though her body language implies otherwise.
In reality, John and Jane are both skilled field operatives working for different contract killing firms, both among the best in their field, each concealing their true professions from one another. The couple live in a large Colonial Revival house in the suburbs, and to keep up appearances, reluctantly socialize with their "conventionally" wealthy neighbors. 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 DIA prisoner Benjamin "the Tank" Danz (Adam Brody) during a transfer, they encounter each other on the job and the hit ends up botched: Danz survives, while John and Jane are assigned to kill each other instead.
After making escalating attempts on each other's lives, the Smiths' conflict culminates in a massive shootout that nearly demolishes their home. In a protracted, evenly matched fight, they wind up with guns in each other's faces. John declines to shoot, his feelings for Jane rekindled, and lays his gun down. Jane finds she cannot shoot John either, and the two have very passionate sex.
The renewed Smith partnership is quickly threatened by their employers, who join forces to eliminate the couple. John's best friend and co-worker, Eddie (Vince Vaughn), turns down a bounty of $400,000, but John and Jane find themselves under fire from an army of assassins. Fending off an attack which blows up their pockmarked house, the Smiths steal their neighbor's minivan and successfully destroy their attackers' three pursuing armored sedans, all while bickering over their fighting styles and newly discovered personal secrets.
After meeting with Eddie, the Smiths decide to fight together to preserve their marriage. They kidnap Danz from his high-security prison to use him as a bargaining chip. Danz reveals that he was merely bait, an intern hired jointly by their employers after it was discovered that the Smiths were married, in the hopes of having one Smith kill the other. John and Jane forget their separate contingency plans and make their last stand together, fending off an assault of heavily armed operatives inside a home decorating store.
The film ends with the couple meeting the marriage counselor (William Fichtner) again, where the Smiths state how much their marriage has thrived, with John encouraging him to ask for an update on their sex lives (to which he silently answers "10/10"). An alternative ending shows that they chose to move to Rome and had a child who inherited their assassin skills.
Screenwriter Simon Kinberg came up with the idea for the film after listening to a couple of his friends who were in therapy for their marriage. Kinberg noticed that the way they were describing it sounded "aggressive and mercenary" and he "thought it would make an interesting template for a relationship inside of an action film."
The production eventually went $26 million over-budget, forcing Liman to use money from his own savings account to build a set in his mother's garage. He then destroyed it with a hand grenade.
Three soundtrack albums were released from the film: a film score composed by John Powell, a U.S. soundtrack with songs used in the film and an International Soundtrack with the song by Pink Martini replaced with KansasCali. The albums were released at different times to avoid confusion; the former was released on June 28, 2005, and the latter on June 7, 2005.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith opened on June 10, 2005 in the United States and Canada in 3,424 theaters. The film ranked at the top in its opening weekend, accumulating $50,342,878. Mr. & Mrs. Smith went on to gross $186,336,279 in North America and had a worldwide total of $478,207,520. It was the highest-grossing film for both superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but was later surpassed by World War Z for Pitt and Maleficent for Jolie.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 60% based on 214 reviews, with an average score of 6.07/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "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." At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received a rating average of 55 out of 100, based on 41 critics, which indicated "mixed or average reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Simon Braund of Empire gave the film a positive review, describing it as "a full-on action flick, subversive rom-com and weapons-grade star vehicle that's drenched in Tinseltown glitz, from a director who knows how to put the money on the screen while his tongue's firmly in his cheek". Daniel Saney of Digital Spy gave the film four stars out of five, saying "Its ideas are often borrowed, and it's hardly deep and meaningful, but it's a fantastically fun film". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 stars out of 4, he praised the chemistry between the lead actors, saying "What makes the movie work is that Pitt and Jolie have fun together on the screen and they're able to find a rhythm that allows them to be understated and amused even during the most alarming developments". In a negative review, Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle described the film as "awful" and stated that "The tiny smidgen of cleverness on display here is contained entirely in the premise. The follow-through is nonexistent".
A single-disc DVD of the film was released on November 29, 2005, and a two-disc unrated version of the film was released on DVD on June 6, 2006. During director Doug Liman's audio commentary on the single-disc DVD release, he mentions that he was not able to use as much sex and violence as they had originally filmed, in order to obtain a PG-13 rating for the film. The film was released on Blu-ray on December 4, 2007. It includes the extra material from the 2005 single-disc DVD release but does not include the additional material from the 2006 two-disc unrated version.
The government of Colombia criticized the film, especially for showing the capital Bogotá as a small village in the middle of the jungle with a hot and humid climate. Mayor Luis Eduardo Garzón and President Alvaro Uribe Vélez invited Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and the producers to get to know the city and to realize their mistake, as the city is known for being a large metropolis with cool weather.
In 2007, a pilot for a spin-off television series was made for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network. Set six months after the end of the film, it was written by Simon Kinberg and directed by Doug Liman. Kinberg described the proposed television series as "Married... with Children with guns." The roles of John and Jane were played by Martin Henderson and Jordana Brewster. On website The Futon Critic, Brian Ford Sullivan criticised the chemistry between Henderson and Brewster and ended his review stating: "While there's always a few gems that get locked away in the networks' vaults each year, this decidedly isn't one of them". ABC decided not to commission the series.
In June 2010, Jolie stated that she and Pitt had inquired about a sequel to the film but were dissatisfied with the story. Jolie stated: "We did ask somebody to look into Mr. & Mrs. to see if they could crack a sequel, but there wasn't anything original. It was just, 'Well, they're going to get married, or they've got kids, or they get separated.' Never great."
In February 2010, it was reported that Regency Enterprises was developing a prequel to the film which would be titled Keeping up with the Joneses, and would not feature either Pitt or Jolie. The story would follow a pair of spies who pose as a married couple when they graduate agency training. Akiva Goldsman was attached to produce.
In July 2011, it was announced that Hong Kong studio New Asia Entertainment Group was to produce a remake entitled Assassin Couple. The film was to star Donnie Yen and Cecilia Cheung in the lead roles, and the studio stated that while the film would share some similarities with Mr. & Mrs. Smith, it would feature a new storyline. The budget for the film was set at $18.7 million.[needs update]