Mr. & Mrs. Smith

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Mr. & Mrs. Smith

If I’m being completely honest as a reviewer, I’ll say that I love the 1996 Smith series, which is probably where it all started. I still remember these 13 explosive episodes that I watched on TV as a kid. How great was my disappointment when I learned about plans to make a feature-length film – which turned out to be a failure with big names – and the complete lack of interest when a new series based on a concept I knew was announced. However, I decided to give the 2024 production a chance, with the simple assumption that it couldn’t get any worse. True? And I would love to write that it is a failed work, but that would not be entirely true. And yes, it didn’t suit my taste at all, but maybe that’s because the final product was sold as something completely different than what it actually is.

Old, but still new

The plot focuses on two agents known as John and Jane. They work for a mysterious organization, pretending to be a married couple in the meantime. However, as it happens in this type of productions, they fall in love with each other and the original cover becomes de facto their real life. Of course, the creators would not be themselves if it turned out that each of our heroes’ missions would go according to plan. And I can’t fault the concept itself, which is a bit tired, but which provides a solid foundation for telling an interesting story. The problem with the new Smiths is that in the foreground we watch the drama of two lost people who want to change their lives – maybe for the better – and who continue to sink into the abyss of their own despair, trying to be someone they are not; the entire action was relegated to the second, or even third, background. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great twist in this type of productions, but the whole thing initially seemed like a spy drama filled to the brim with action, and unfortunately the seven episodes are typical “boring” typical of family dramas; only the final episode shows what this series could be, but unfortunately it is not.

However, this is not a major flaw that ruins the series for good. NO. Ultimately, after watching eight episodes of the first season, I was disappointed that I received a product that was supposed to give a lot of fun, action and put the characters in unusual situations where, despite differences in characters, etc., they will try to cooperate or not. Here, drama dominates the screen, which is also not entirely satisfactory for the viewer. The theme [spoiler] of Jane’s sociopathy is neglected, and this could be a really interesting thread, considering the bond that forms between her and John; which can be seen perfectly in the final scene. This topic raised in such a series could do a lot of good for understanding these types of people, who today appear to society primarily as a threat. It is possible that it will be developed in the next season, but after what I watched, I will probably not reach for it soon.

Other reviewers make admiring comparisons to another series by the Smiths. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it and it’s hard for me to say anything more about it. I wouldn’t like to say that the script is rubbish; As I mentioned earlier, it is a successful production, although at times disappointing in many respects. And I realize that Atlanta fans are probably used to this pace and play of the topic. I don’t really like the new approach to the story about two agents, but that doesn’t change the fact that someone who approaches the game without any prior expectations can have quite a lot of fun, provided it’s in his style.

Further delights were expressed in connection with the concept of vivisection of the compound. Of course, this is a very cool approach, which in this case was accelerated as much as possible, thanks to which the 5 basic phases, i.e. falling in love, romantic beginnings, a complete relationship, a friendly relationship and an empty relationship leading to breakup, were enclosed in eight episodes. On the one hand, we have a brilliant starting point, and on the other hand, the creators are rushing with the story told so quickly, as if they were afraid that the production would be canceled after the first season and they would not be able to present it in full. And it may seem like just nitpicking, but overall, a much better solution – in my opinion – would be to devote more attention to each stage, which would help us get to know our title characters much better; although then the ending of the story would be completely different and we would have to wait several seasons for the current final conclusion.

A galaxy of stars

The acting is brilliant. I can’t imagine any other actors playing the titular Smith couple. At times, however, I had the impression that it was practically no challenge for Donald Glover, who in my opinion is a brilliant actor (the new young generation of Hollywood). I felt a little dissatisfied because I was 100 percent. certain that with a slightly better script he could spread his wings and show what he is actually capable of. His partner, Maya Erskine, is a total series revelation for me. She is great as Jane and was not inferior to her more famous colleague. The fact that the creators managed to find such talented performers of these roles makes us not only like and support the main characters. We also become involved in the next stages of their relationship, which transforms from something fictional into something real, something worth fighting and dying for.

However, we cannot forget that the creators also spoil the audience with secondary actors; what a great joy it is to see such actors as Wagner Moura, John Turturro, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano or in the opening scene of the series – Alexander Skarsgård, although for me it is still a great waste of his talent. However, it must be remembered that this is not just a use of the cameo concept for the sole pleasure of the viewer. The presence of each character played by well-known and popular stars has a specific purpose. They directly and indirectly influence the further fate of our title characters, which I really liked; Most often, absolutely nothing results from the use of this procedure.

Overall, it is quite a correct and successful production; however, from a subjective point of view, for me personally it was more than disappointing. Judging by what people say about it on the Internet, you will either love this dramatic approach to spy cinema or avoid it. Certain plot solutions, and more, actually worked, and sometimes it all functioned in an aura of total strangeness, which in principle: has its own charm, but these eight episodes are primarily an intriguing story, simplified to the limit, bordering on boredom; Unfortunately, this is the dominant – in my opinion – element, which means that I will not admire this creation as much as I should.

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