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Film / Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

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"Why is it you think we failed? Because we were leading separate lives? Or was it all the lying that did us in?"
Jane Smith

Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a 2005 action-comedy film, directed by Doug Liman and starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The eponymous Smiths are a couple who have been married for five (or six) years. After meeting each other while vacationing in Colombia, the two married and settled down to a quiet, white-collar life in Suburbia, but now they find the magic is fading and wonder if their marriage is going to last.

In reality, both of them are being smothered by the weight of their double lives — as secret agents and occasional killers for hire. All the fire seems to have gone out of their relationship and they are seeking marriage counselling.

One day, John Smith (Pitt) is ordered to take out a hit on a man called "The Tank". But his wife Jane (Jolie), who works for a rival agency, is also sent to take down "The Tank". Upon discovering each other's identities, the Smiths are told by their employers to take each other out, leading to results that range from your standard Slap-Slap-Kiss all the way up to no-holds-barred Domestic Abuse. Things are not as they seem, though. When John and Jane both come under attack by their former employers, they realise that if they are going to live (and keep their marriage intact), they're going to have to work together both as assassins and as a couple.

A Prime Video series adaptation starring Donald Glover and Maya Erskine was released on February 2, 2024.

Not to be confused with the 1941 screwball comedy directed by Alfred Hitchcock (where a couple who have been married three years find out that they aren't really married) or the 1996 TV series (where two spies are forced to work together under the codenames Mr. and Mrs. Smith).

Mr. & Mrs. Smith contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Jane Smith knows how to kick ass just as much as (and by her kill count, even more than) her husband.
  • Actor Allusion: Adam Brody is wearing a Fight Club T-shirt while being interrogated by John (Brad Pitt). Presumably, Tyler Durden was played by somebody else in this universe. John's yellow/orange sunglasses later in the movie are also suspiciously similar to a pair seen on Tyler Durden.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Played with; the building where Jane works has security lasers everywhere to keep intruders out — including the vents. Justified as Jane is an assassin and has used such tactics in the past.
  • Amazon Brigade: Jane's agency seems only to hire women, although their boss and at least some of their operatives (not seen) are male.
  • Anti-Hero: Although they are sympathetic and romantic characters, Jane and John are still professional murderers, and it is never firmly established if either of the two organizations they work for are actually on the side of right. The most the film provides on the subject is a comment from Jane to her target about "selling big guns to bad people" before she kills him, but there's nothing to indicate whether or not the specific job is typical of her hits. There is also the matter of a line of dialogue (cut from some versions of the film) in which, while discussing how many people they've killed, John asks if Jane's claimed number of 312 includes innocent bystanders.
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Averted in one scene when Jane, unaware, shoots John, he's wearing a vest.
    • In the climactic scene, this is a downplayed trope. Our anti-heroes are shown to be wearing bulletproof vests, but the impacts still clearly hurt.
  • Aside Glance: Subverted. John asks Jane to dance a tango with him as a subtle way to disarm her in public without anyone noticing. Jane follows suit and at one point drops out of frame, seemingly to her knees. John looks at the camera and winks suggestively, implying Jane is on her knees for a much more "adult" reason. The Reveal Shot shows he's winked at an elderly couple, who are gaping because Jane is removing a pistol from John's ankle holster.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • Out of all the various things they've done to each other in the course of their cover... all the lies, fakery, and trying to kill each other... the thing that seems to upset John the most is that Jane hired actors to play her parents for events like their wedding and holidays, though that as he notes, it's because he brought his real parents.
      John Smith: I can't believe I brought my real parents to our wedding!
    • The reverse, Jane seems overly upset at John for being married once before (briefly, in Vegas, then annulled)
      Jane: What's her name and social security number?
      John: No, you're not going to kill her.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Bogotá, Colombia, in real life, is a major city of nearly 7 million (at the time of filming) with a mild-to-cool climate thanks to its high-altitude location. Here it's portrayed as a small river-side town where the sun always shines, people listen to flamenco music and there's no need for clothes. To make things worse, a soldier speaks with a heavy Mexican accent. Even the actors said that they've never been to Bogotá, or Colombia, for that matter.
  • Audible Sharpness: Cutting bread should not be that loud.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Quite possibly the most non-standard use of this trope, as the Smiths both have this moment as they're pointing guns at each other.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The penultimate final scene is the Smiths taking this posture when they confront a much larger group of assassins.
  • Basement Dweller: Eddie, having been divorced, is living with his mother despite his arsenal of weaponry. He insists this is a valid lifestyle choice.
  • Battle Couple: The Smiths reignite their marriage one scene before they form an alliance against their former employers.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Despite a knock-down dragout fight that destroys their home and includes multiple blows to the face and kicks to the torso, neither Smith sports a bruise when the neighbors and neighborhood security show up to inquire about the noise.
  • Black Boss Lady: She doesn't appear onscreen, but Mr. Smith's boss is voiced by Angela Bassett. Inversely, Mrs. Smith's Boss is voiced by Keith David.
  • Bluffing the Authorities: John and Jane's all out brawl attracts the attention of their neighbors, who call neighborhood security (who is entirely unconcerned); however, by the time the officers arrive their interaction has evolved into a different kind of physical encounter, and security aren't interested in looking too closely at the obviously happy couple. The destruction visible through their open door is explained away as renovations to the house.
  • Boyfriend Bluff: The Meet Cute they have in Colombia when the military is on edge looking to detain any foreigners traveling alone because someone was just assassinated. They're both using the other as protection but don't know (and don't seem to ask) why the other is going along with it.
  • Book Ends: John and Jane meet a marriage counselor in the first and last scene, who asks them about their sex life.
  • Brick Joke: The "Scale of 1-10, how is the sex?" question. It shows up in the opening to show how disconnected John and Jane are (they don't even understand the question) and at the end to show they're fully back on board ("Ask the sex question!").
  • Brutal Brawl: The midpoint features a home destroying one between Jane and John where they find out it's an even fight.
  • Bullet Dodge: In the final shootout, John and Jane twice duck an anti-tank missile being fired at them.
  • Car Fu: Well, ATV-fu to be specific. John takes out a few agents in his zeal to rescue Jane during the final fight.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: The Smiths bicker over newly revealed marital secrets while in the middle of a car chase/gun fight with pursuing assassins.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The Tank wears a Fight Club t-shirt. No one even thinks that John looks remarkably similar to Tyler Durden.
  • Combat Pragmatist: During the fight through the house, both of them, especially Jane, use various household implements, including curtains. Doubles as a Brick joke, as John had mentioned earlier in the movie that he objected to them.
  • Contract on the Hitman: When both the agencies that the Smiths worked for found out who their spouse worked for, they compromised and decided to put them on a collision course to take each other out.
  • Cut the Juice: John tells Jane to cut the power while infiltrating the prison, then frantically shouts at her to turn the lights back on because he's found himself in a Darkened Building Shootout. Unfortunately it takes a lot longer to get the power back up again.
  • Dance Battler: A variation - in the last battle John and Jane fight their enemies together in a gun-fight to the tune of the Assassin's Tango (or "Mondo Bongo," in the Director's Cut).
  • Dead Sparks: The Smiths' problem at the start of the film is that their marriage has floundered. After five (or six) years, they've lost their connection.
  • Destructo-Nookie: With the destructo- part coming before when they're trying to kill each other. They literally take their beautiful home apart in their efforts to kill each other to the point where they're forced to step over bits and pieces of trash and debris from the fight after they've made up.
  • Developing Nations Lack Cities: The film begins in Bogotá, Colombia, which is portrayed as a river town rather than the cosmopolitan city it is.
  • Destroy the Evidence: When John manages to invade the HQ of Jane's firm, they immediately wipe the hard drives and torch a bunch of documents in an incinerator.
  • Discreet Drink Disposal: John dumps out the martini Jane gave him after he notices an out-of-place bottle of drain cleaner.
  • Dish Dash: When Jane catches the wine bottle, it signals the Internal Reveal.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
    • John returning home from a hit is reminiscent of a cheating husband returning home after an affair. He drives home quietly, puts his wedding band back on, and picks at the red stain on his collar (blood instead of lipstick).
    • While interrogating their target, the couple argue as if they're disagreeing on how to raise a child. At one point, John even says, "Can we not argue in front of the target? It sends mixed signals."
    • When John and Jane are comparing their body counts, it sounds like a couple comparing numbers of past partners, including John feeling pointedly emasculated when his wife has a higher count than his. Bonus: "Some were two at a time."
  • Dominatrix: Jane dresses as one to get close to a target in one scene. It turns out that "punishing" a client puts one in a great position to kill him.
  • Double Entendre:
    • Because the violent nature of the couple's interactions are a metaphor for their rocky relationship, it's only natural that we get a few of these, including:
      Mr. Smith: I don't exactly keep count, but I would say... high fifties, low sixties. Been around the block, but you know, the important thing is—
      Mrs. Smith: Three hundred and twelve.
      Mr. Smith: Three hundred and twelve? How?
      Mrs. Smith: Some were two at a time.
    • Certain cuts of the film have John's line, "Are you counting innocent bystanders?" (followed by Jane smacking the mesh barrier between them), partly because people thought they really were talking about sexual partners.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: John and Jane after the Internal Reveal.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: After kidnapping "The Tank", Mr. Smith offers him a choice between three possibilities: A) The Tank tells the Smiths what they want to know, B) Mr. Smith inflicts Fingore on The Tank to get him to spill the beans, or C) The Tank suffers an unspecified Cruel and Unusual Death. As The Tank has no stake in the plot against the Smiths, he chooses option "A".
    John Smith: [to Benjamin Danz] Option A: You talk, we listen, no pain. Option B: You don't talk, I remove your thumbs with my pliers, it will hurt. Option C: I like to vary the details a bit but the punchline is... you die.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: Twice during the climactic shootout. First they escape an army of assassins by jumping in an elevator and heading to the second floor. They are greeted by the other half of the army of assassins and retreat back to the first floor. Both times we get a cheerful instrumental of "Girl from Ipanema".
  • Empathic Environment: Thunder sounds when things start heating up between John and Jane during their Mating Dance in Bogota.
  • Extended Disarming: While doing the tango, John and Jane remove guns and knives from each other's body.
  • Fanservice: When you have two people who are consistently voted the two most attractive people in the world, it's inevitable. In the third quarter of the film. Jane is [[Sexy Shirt Switch wearing a man's oxford] that just barely functions as a miniskirt. John is in nothing but a tight V-neck and boxers.
  • Fun T-Shirt: "The Tank" is seen wearing a Fight Club T-Shirt, as Actor Allusion.
  • Fun with Subtitles: "Five or six years ago..."
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: During the interrogation scene with the Tank, but they both try to play the bad cop. It works, but only because they're obviously enjoying one another's violence (despite the ongoing negotiations of their evolving relationship) and the Tank was just a plant and has no reason to lie once he's stalled long enough.
  • Handguns: John's handgun gives him the edge during the house-fight.
  • Hand Signals: Spoofed when John and Jane start using them to squabble with each other.
  • Happily Married. Back when they first get married and after they deal with their double lives, they become this once more.
  • Hidden Supplies: Both of the Smiths have their own weaponry cache in their shared home.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Though they don't have problems killing their targets or other professionals (guards and soforth), they do seem to try and avoid innocent casualties. John even takes the time to shout warnings and get civilians to run away when he's just ditched a bomb. During the fair scene, John casually hands one of the stuffed toys they won to a little kid.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: The agents sent to eliminate the Smiths used a drone to drop a bomb on them in the basement, which rolled onto the fuel tanks, causing the entire house to blow up. This ends up costing the agents' their lives and allowing the couple to get away.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the final scene, a large group of "highly trained assassins" are unable to take down the protagonist duo despite having them outnumbered. There's bullet dodging involved but there's a lot of bullets where they don't need to.
  • In Love with the Mark: An odd variant, as they don't rekindle their romance until after they learn they're each other's targets. And have a massive fight about it.
  • Indy Ploy: John, in general, is much more prone to improvisation, contrasting with Jane who prefers to plan assignments down to the last detail. Both are extremely capable.
  • Informed Judaism: John and Jane are trading details about their real backgrounds. After a fight scene with mooks hired to take them out, Jane informs him she's Jewish.
  • Internal Reveal: Both of them find out the other's identity when they are assigned to take out the same target, but neither knows that the other knows. John deliberately drops a wine bottle as a test, which Jane passes (or fails depending on your perspective) when she catches it.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Their bout of Destructo-Nookie is interrupted by their neighbours... who bring the police.
  • Ironic Nickname: The Smiths both pursue a mark known as "The Tank"; when they find him, he turns out to be a slender, slightly nerdy-looking individual played by Adam Brody.
  • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: The beginning portion of the film shows Jane and John sharing a steamy kiss when they first meet and cuts it to the present where they're in a dead marriage. When they are assigned to killing each other, the kisses officially stop and the slapping commences.
  • Latin Land: The Smiths first met in Bogota In Name Only.
  • Let's Dance: The film plays this three times.
    • In the first act, when they meet in Bogota, they get a little dancing in to Mondo Bongo before hooking up and falling in love.
    • In the second act, they do a sexy tango to disarm one another in full view of the public so neither can turn on the other.
    • In the third act, they reprise their Mondo Bongo dance, only this time they're Back-to-Back Badasses (and sometimes Front to Front) while they take down an army of assassins.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • During their tango/mutual patdown in the hotel, when Jane drops to her knees in front of John, he winks broadly, seemingly at the camera. The camera then reverses to show he's actually winking at an older couple who are dancing nearby.
    • When Jane's second-in-command tells her "this is as far as we go," she ain't kidding. That is the last time we see her or any of her subordinates in the movie. Unintentional, to be sure, but still.
  • Lipstick Mark: Not exactly. In one scene, John comes home, slips on his wedding ring, and looks at a red stain on his collar. Suffice it to say, he wasn't having an affair, and the red stain was bit more organic in nature than lipstick.
  • Living with the Villain: Both characters put up a front of normal life for each other while they go about their real jobs as assassins working for rival firms — until they're both given assignments that lead to their paths crossing.
  • Lodged Blade Removal: Played for laughs. During the climactic battle, Jane accidentally (or possibly accidentally on purpose) hits John in the leg with a thrown kitchen knife. He barely reacts, except to be clearly frustrated with her, and pulls it out saying "We'll talk about this later!"
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The film zigzags this. In their professional lives, John follows the masculine business stereotype of being a lone wolf while Jane follows the feminine business stereotype of organizing a competent team to support her in the field. Initially, during the masquerade, they also play stereotypical roles at home, with Jane as the wife who cooks dinner every night (she never cooked a night in her life) and cares about window treatments and John as the bored husband who spends his time on game nights and puttering around in the shed (she keeps her weapons in the stove that never gets used and he keeps his under the shed). When the masks come off, it turns out that he was an art history major who loves sappy romantic ballads and recognized her father (her fake father) from Fantasy Island, and she's the aggressive, Violently Protective Girlfriend Green-Eyed Monster who has a much higher body count than him and has to be talked down from killing his ex-wife (it was a drunken Vegas thing).
  • The Masochism Tango: They spend the entire middle section of the film trying to kill each other once they realize that they are rival assassins with missions to kill one another. This leads to a Brutal Brawl in their home with them finding they are equally matched. And it ends because they both realize that they can't pull the trigger on each other. This is even lampshaded because the pair falls in love dancing a tango at the start of the film, they disarm each other in public mixing in some light jabs at on another at the halfway point, and the song that played during their first tango plays again when they get to the kissing part of Slap-Slap-Kiss.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Or rather, smother your marriage. Learning the other's identity starts the process for their relationship renewal.
  • Matching Bad Guy Vehicles: While driving on the freeway, John notices a black car following them. After a moment, four more cars appear from behind the first one, now forming a V.
  • Mating Dance: The tango scene after the two use each other as cover to avoid suspicion from the Colombian military. Considering the Romance on the Set that ensued between the respective actors, this one probably carries a lot of Reality Subtext.
  • Men Are Tough: Implied along with Women Are Wiser in the differences between Jane and John's offices. Jane's office is high tech, sleek, equipped with body scanners and an underground secret base located in downtown Manhattan. John's on the other hand, is on the waterfront in a run down building and his main hub are two elderly people and a computer.
  • Metaphorically True: When Jane asks how John's poker game went, he responds "I got lucky." Not that he was lucky in the card game, but that he assassinated his target "Lucky".
  • Mr. Smith: Once, and only once, is "John Smith" lampshaded; when Jane orders her agency to search the databases. Her second-in-command points out that it's the one of, if not THE, most common male names in English.
  • Mundane Utility: One of the early hints at Jane's secret life comes when she fixes the way a curtain is hanging by balancing perfectly on a chair that is standing on only one of its legs. In stilettos.
  • Murder, Inc.: and its rival company Death Co employ the two Smith assassins.
  • Mutual Masquerade: Neither John nor Jane know that the other is secretly an assassin.
  • Mysterious Employer: Both Smiths work for agencies, but those agencies and their goals are completely unspecified.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Though Jane is wearing a Modesty Bedsheet after the neighbors show up to complain about the noise, it's implied that John proudly answers the door with his junk on full display, if partly to confound said neighbors and get them to go away with no more questions asked.
  • Neck Snap: Jane's first onscreen kill is to break a man's neck while pretending to be a prostitute.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Whatever it was that happened in Canada.
      Jane: That was you?
    • This is used for most every instance of them talking about a past job. What job did Jane take that saw the use of percussion grenades? Where was John that made taking a chopper the only, or the fastest, way of getting to their anniversary dinner on time? Who was Jean-Luc Gaspard that Jane was so jealous of John's elimination of him? We are never told.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Subverted. In Colombia after they first meet, Jane wakes up to find John gone. He then walks into the room carrying breakfast.
  • Oh, Crap!: John chases a lead on the mystery hitwoman who left a laptop in the desert, managing to get a billing address for it. He freaks out when discovering that it's the IT company Jane's the CEO of.
  • Orgasmic Combat: The Destructo-Nookie scene above does start with them in a knock down drag out fight with each other, destroying most of their home, but ends with them making out in the wreckage.
  • Paid-for Family: Jane's parents are not her real parents. She hires actors for occasions like the wedding and vacations.
    Jane Smith: [driving a stolen minivan] My parents died when I was five. I'm an orphan.
    John Smith: Who was that kind fellow who gave you away at our wedding?
    Jane Smith: Paid actor.
    John Smith: I said— I said I saw your dad on "Fantasy Island"!
  • Playing Drunk: In the scene where we see John "at work," he pretends to be drunk and wanders into a room full of targets, asking for a round of poker. He sits down and plays cards with them, tricking them into letting their guards down and eventually shooting them all dead.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted. John and Jane's Destructo-Nookie, which started as a genuine full-blown shootout, causes the police to be called. But when they answer the door naked and obviously satisfied, the situation is defused.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Justified in that they are both trying to hide their double lives as assassins from what they believe to be their normie spouse. That said, doing so almost ends up with both of them killing each other.
  • Powerful People Are Subs: Jane disguises herself as a dominatrix to get close to a mob boss. He likes it when she ties him up and whips him, not so much when she breaks his neck and escapes out the window.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Both of John and Jane's first onscreen kills included giving a parting word to their targets.
    • When Lucky comes back to the poker game John joined, he asks if John's looking for a job. John responds, "You are the job." before shooting him with a hidden pistol then opening fire on the other gangsters.
    • While playing the part of a Dominatrix and asking if her client's been bad, she leans in close and asks in a whisper, "Have you been selling big guns to bad men?" The target can only grunt in confusion before Jane snaps his neck.
  • Professional Killer: The true occupation of the Smiths is to take out hits on other people.
  • Properly Paranoid: Both the Smiths have taken extreme precautions for just about any scenario... except realizing their spouse is a rival agent. Even then, many of the precautions come in handy. John can't even be voice-traced from the answering machine message because he's made sure to include electronic distortion as if it were malfunctioning.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Both of them are professional killers, but it's only their job. Their civilian covers are perfectly sociable.
  • Race Against the Clock: They get 48 hours to kill their spouse. Eventually they chose not to.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Not immediately obvious, because both John and Jane are action protagonists; however when you look at their approaches, both to their job and their life, John is the 'Red' - he tends to make things up as he goes along, knows roughly how many people he has killed, where as Jane plans things, and knows EXACTLY how many people she has killed. See also the entry below for Uptight Loves Wild.
  • Relationship Reboot: Invoked by John once they decide not to kill each other and start telling the truth to one another: "We're going to have to redo every conversation we've ever had."
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Neither of them are allowed to quit their assassin job.
  • Revealing Skill: Jane confirms John's suspicions that she's an assassin by catching an open wine bottle with far better reflexes and coordination than an average house-wife.
  • Scar Survey: Discussed rather than seen. The morning after their Destructo-Nookie, John and Jane are talking about past hits, and the permanent injuries they have as a result.
  • Shady Lady of the Night: Early in the film, Jane Smith disguises herself as a hired dominatrix in order to get close enough to a mob boss she's been hired to assassinate.
  • Shaking Her Hair Loose: Jane goes to see a mark pretending to be a prostitute with her hair pinned up. The first part of the seduction is shaking her hair out.
  • Shout-Out: Jane works with a team of Action Girls, including Stephanie March, Jennifer Morrison, and Kerry Washington, and her boss is a disembodied voice from a speaker.
  • Shown Their Work: When they fight, Jane is much more prone to using improvised weapons to bridge the physical gap between her and John. Female aggressors with male victims are much more likely to use weapons in domestic violence incidents for exactly that reason. It's also exactly what someone with Jane's build should do in a real fight against someone bigger, as shown by how — as long as she is able to keep John at range — Jane has the advantage. The moment John is within arm's length of Jane, her advantage disappears and he begins winning the fight with surprising ease given her earlier success.
  • Single Tear: After Jane thinks she's killed her husband with an Elevator Failure.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Or more truthfully Bang Bang "Bang" as they abruptly end their Brutal Brawl to have sex once they realize they really do love each other.
  • Smithical Marriage: When they first meet, John and Jane hook up with each other, pretending to be a couple to escape the Colombian authorities. However, they don't register under Smith, which is a pity.
  • So Much for Stealth:
    • John and Jane managed to silently take down several mooks, only for John to knock over a stack of cans. Cue autofire.
    • John is sneaking through the house, knocks over a china vase which he catches in mid-air... only for the lid to fall off and smash on the floor. Jane opens up on the noise.
  • Stealth Pun: After failing to take the other out.
    John: I missed you.
    Jane: I missed you too.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Mondo Bongo (the song playing during the Dance of Romance in Bogota) plays during the final shootout.
  • Stocking Filler: Jane wears garters for one of her jobs. With knives.
  • Stripping the Scarecrow: John and Jane Smith, cornered in a home decorating store in their casual clothes, with mercenaries outside surrounding them, decides to strip two mannequins for better clothing. Without knocking them over, in the next shot we see John and Jane Smith smartly-dressed and two naked mannequins in the background.
  • Super Multi-Purpose Room: John and Jane both have a Wall of Weapons - his under the shed, hers inside the oven.
  • Table Space: Not quite super long but otherwise there.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Suspecting John to being a spy, Jane is home early and prepares a dinner for "a special occasion". John picks up on this when he sees the Drano cleanser where the martini shaker was and dumps his drink into a potted plant to avoid poisoning. He then notices a poison label in the kitchen mirror's reflections as he takes a nervous bite of his pot roast.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Jane is a no-nonsense perfectionist, John relies more on Indy Ploy. Jane is stealthy in her job, John makes a bit of a show.
  • That Poor Cat: Heard when John is rushing through the bushes to the house.
  • That Poor Plant: On the receiving end of a suspected drain cleaner-laced martini.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When sneaking through the house, John accidentally bumps a ceramic jar with his elbow. He manages to catch it just before it falls... and then the lid falls off the jar and shatters on the floor. His face a split second before the crash just screams this, as he knows that the noise is going to tip off his whereabouts to Jane.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: Jane's agency is full of flashy technology and attractive women. John is more of the "Stale Beer and T-Shirt" variety of spy. This is reflected in everything they do. Jane's away-from-home workspace is in an upscale office building, while John's is a little back-room upstairs office. Her weaponry is behind an elaborate slide-away oven; John's is in a cellar under the toolshed. She sets up with a top-of-the-line sniping rifle and sighting equipment, while he pretends to be a scruffy nobody taking a piss and tries to take out the target with a rocket launcher. On the other hand, John identifies Jane by recovering her laptop and tracing one of the chips, like a proper hi-tech spy, while Jane does it by seeing John's walk and identifying him by instinct, just using her gut.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Mrs. Smith meticulously plans everything out and Mr. Smith prefers just to wing it.
  • Use Your Head: During the fight with her husband, Jane responds to John's taunting by hitting him with a teapot and headbutting him.
  • Villain Protagonist: A double-dose, as both John and Jane are assassins for hire. The entire conflict comes about because their employers are competitors, rather than either of them being anything like traditional good guys.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend : By the end of the movie, Jane has become this.
    Jane: What's her name and Social Security Number?!
  • The Voice: We never see the faces of either Jane's or John's boss, just a digitized distorted face, making both of them this.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Both John and Jane suspect the other of lying about their love for each other, but neither is willing to admit their own in case the other uses this to try and kill them.
    Mr. Smith: Web of lies!
  • Why Am I Ticking?: John gets a bomb placed in his jacket.
    Bystander: Do you know you're ticking?
  • Win Her a Prize: Invoked: John and Jane, two of the world's best assassins, visit a fair for a date, where they each try their hand at a shooting gallery. All of Jane's shots are off-target, and John can't resist the urge to show off a little, hitting every target but one (presumably remembering not to blow his cover just in time). He attributes his success to beginner's luck. Then Jane gets her back up and buys another go-round, hitting every target with ease, also claiming "beginner's luck."
  • With Catlike Tread: While sneaking around during the final battle, John takes out several opponents without making a sound... until he turns around and knocks over a stand of cans with the barrel of his shotgun.
    • During the fight in the house, he manages to sneak around without getting seen, until he knocks over a vase. Even then, he manages to catch it... only for the lid to fall off and shatter on the floor, giving away his location.
  • Women Are Wiser: Implied, with Jane's organisation seeming bigger, better-funded and more professional than John's, and Jane having a much higher bodycount than her husband. In terms of their methods, this overlaps with Uptight Loves Wild, with Jane carefully planning her assassinations and John preferring the Indy Ploy.
  • Would Hit a Girl: John is more than willing to punch his wife (among other things) when he finds out she's a rival assassin. This is a rare instance in which the male character is not called out. Likely because his wife gives as good as she gets.


Video Example(s):


Mrs. Smith

In order to get close to her target, Jane Smith, at first looking like she was going to a meeting, dropped her coat to reveal in a rubbery dominatrix outfit underneath in order to fulfill her client/mark's BDSM fantasy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / Dominatrix

Media sources: