Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a Superhero Movie
The tragic news of the Brangelina breakup hit the world this week, which inspired me to rewatch the movie that started it all.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is an above average spy movie. It’s quippy, fun, light-hearted, and action-packed. It stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The only other movie that stars both of these people is By the Sea. This movie is not quippy, not fun, not light-hearted, and not action-packed.
Marvel Studios is known for making superhero movies that are quippy, fun, light-hearted, and action-packed. While rewatching Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I realized that this movie is actually a superhero movie. This is the Hawkeye & Black Widow movie the universe has always wanted.
John Smith does not shoot arrows from a bow, and Jane Smith does not scissor kick her enemies. Disregarding these two things, I will prove how this film is actually a Marvel-style superhero movie. Keep in mind that this movie was made in 2005, even a few years before Iron Man.
There Are So Many Quips
The Smiths are incredibly deadly and incredibly witty. The best scene of one-liners and comebacks is the tango scene.
At this point in the movie Jane and John have already discovered each others’ secret job. In an attempt to stop John from infiltrating her dope spy base, Jane destroys an elevator that (she believes) John is on. Believing that her husband of six years is dead, she obviously decides to go pop some bottles at a fancy restaurant.
Jane is actually shedding a single tear of regret when John surprises her. John thinks that he has the element of surprise, but what he doesn’t know is that he is going to be riddled with good to really good insults.
It might seem that being riddled with insults is better than being riddled with bullets, but nothing is more disrespectful than being hit with quick one-liners.
John asks his wife, “So what do we do, Jane? Shoot it out here? Hope for the best?”
Jane automatically replies, “Well that would be a shame because they would probably ask me to leave once you are dead.”
Jane goes from crying over her John Smith to giving him a super gangster threat in less than two minutes.
Later in the conversation, John asks Jane to dance with him.
He says, “Dance with me.”
Jane says, “You don’t dance.”
John replies, “It was just my cover, sweetheart.”
Jane comes back with the piledriver, “Was sloth your cover too?”
What makes Marvel movies fun sometimes is that most of their characters have a great sense of humor. They aren’t depressing or too serious or ever directed by Zack Snyder. A quippy, light-hearted tone fits perfectly within the Marvel Universe.
The Villain is Terrible/Nonexistent
I love Marvel movies. Marvel heroes are dope, but Marvel villains are the opposite of dope. Here is a quick list of Marvel villains.
- Malekith (Thor: The Dark World)
- Aldrich Killian (Iron Man 3)
- Ronan (Guardians of the Galaxy)
- Bizrus (Thor)
- Whiplash (Iron Man 2)
These villains are lame and forgettable and not fair matches for their respective heroes. Battles against these villains are a little less fun because the audience isn’t that intimidated or knowledgeable about the bad guy. The villains in Mr. & Mrs. Smith are just as forgettable.
When the Smiths reconcile with themselves and decide to team up, their own employers decide to send hitman squads to take them out. There is no mastermind villain, there is no dumb witted lackey, the names of the organizations aren’t even disclosed. The final battle just involves the Smiths fighting an army of hitman henchmen. Totally not as good as it could have been.
By the way, Bizrus is a villain that I completely made up. Bizrus is a name I made by combining the names of Biz Markie and Miley Cyrus. If I can slip a fake villain past you then I prove my point of just how forgettable these bad guys are.
There Are Fun Retro Songs
During the fight scene between John and Jane, the classic song “Express Yourself” by Charles Wright (probably more recognizable as a N.W.A. song) starts playing. Instantly an intense skirmish turns into a fun romp with small guns, medium-sized guns, and large guns. Marvel are pros at using old catchy songs to bring levity to extreme situations, especially during Guardians of the Galaxy.
Fun Retro Songs That Should Have Been In Mr. & Mrs. Smith:
- “Take on Me” by A-Ha
- “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac
- “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell
- “Hooked On a Feeling” by Blue Swede
Superhuman Abilities Are Displayed
What is a superhero movie without people doing superhuman things? Both John and Jane do things during the movie that normal humans are unable to do. For example, they are practically indestructible. In the final shootout scene, there are shot dozens of times. They technically have bulletproof vests, but vests can only stop so much. John Smith gets a knife stuck in his thigh and he is completely fine. Last time I checked there are no bulletproof vests made for thighs.
Another superhuman occurrence happens early in the movie. John is taking the lawnmower back into the shed in the pouring rain, and picks up his basketball to move it. John slings it behind his head without looking and it swishes in the net hanging above the garage. He does this in the pouring rain, without looking, while still pushing the lawnmower. It is breathtaking.
I don’t drink coffee, but I wish I was drinking a cup of coffee at this moment so I could do a Marty McFly-level spit-take. This action felt so completely out of place in this spy movie that I knew it was a message from the filmmaker telling me that these are not ordinary spies. A good spy can be great at shooting things, but shooting a basketball does not fall under the same umbrella. The only basketball shot in movie history that is more impressive is Michael Fassbender’s shot in Prometheus while riding a bicycle. Keep in mind that Michael Fassbender was an android in that movie.
Jane Smith performs a superhuman stunt a little later in the movie while doing a quick solo mission. She enters a luxury apartment in a skyscraper, yadda yadda yadda, there is one less living person, yadda yadda yadda, suddenly Jane needs to get down from the skyscraper quickly.
She hooks some sort of grapple to the building, runs to the ledge, jumps off, and nonchalantly drops to the sidewalk as if she got her spy training from some guy in Gotham.
I like to compare spies in spy movies to James Bond. Different James Bonds can do various types of things. No incarnation of James Bond could pull off this stunt. Daniel Craig is not fun enough, Roger Moore is not athletic enough, and Sean Connery’s hairpiece would have fallen off.
Jane Smith is better than James Bond. The Smiths are superheroes that just happen to be assassins. They also just happen to be two of the most good-looking people on the planet. The world will miss Brangelina, but we always have this movie to go back to.