Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Missed It By THAT Much!

Get Smart

Release: 06.20.2008
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 50 minutes

Matinee ($$$) <
> Second-Run Seats ($$)

Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell, Bewitched) is without a doubt the best CONTROL analyst behind a desk. For those unfamiliar with the popular '60s television series upon which the film is based, CONTROL is a super-secret U.S. government spy agency whose mission is to thwart the criminal undertakings of the evil organization KAOS. Aside from being the best intelligence gatherer for the agency, Max wants to be a field agent and has worked diligently to hone his mind and body into a spy machine. Max gets his chance when the identities of all field agents save Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway, The Devil Wears Prada) have been compromised. The Chief (Alan Arkin, Gross Pointe Blank) sends Max a.k.a. Agent 86 with 99 to track down KAOS's operation and discover their fiendish plans.

I fondly remembered watching this show in my formative years. Don Adams was hilarious as the bungling agent whose faithful partner 99 also managed to bail him out whenever his elaborate plans or loud mouth got him into trouble. It was somewhat surprising to see that the new- millennium Maxwell Smart has evolved into a competent agent whose only shortcoming is that his colleagues baselessly assume he's a buffoon. If you came looking for a faithful reimagining, the best you can hope for are a few of the famous lines, a scene with the classic car, a shoe phone call and a wonderful cameo by Love Boat's Dr. Bricker, a.k.a Bernie Kopell, who played Max's nemesis Siegfried.

I'm not going to hold the creative changes against the film. There's plenty of other issues with the Get Smart remake to let that go. The trailers for the film showed some witty jokes with the promise of bigger and better to come. Once in the theater, we discover the trailer is a highlights reel showcasing the funniest jokes. I still laughed at those, and found myself giggly at the scant handful of other funny moments, but throw us a bone! The overall film turned out to be only mildly interesting with many unnecessary scenes devoted to the awkwardness of Smart and Agent 99's working relationship. Supporting roles by Dwayne Johnson (Be Cool) and Terence Stamp (Superman II) added a few laughs but seemed almost wasteful of their talents.

Dirty Undies
What Dwayne Johnson was not allowed to do with his role, he at least made up for with his winning smile and charismatic swagger. He doesn't show any skin; that honor is left for megastar Carell, but few men can look as good as Johnson in a suit. Looking like she owns the entire coat collection from a fashion catalog, thug-lovin' Hathaway manages to look scrumptuous though she keeps it all well-covered.

The Money Shot
I feel like I haven't said a whole lot about Get Smart. I guess that's because there isn't a whole lot to discuss. It's inoffensive and genial enough that you can't outright hate it. If you go see it, you'll just wish they had put a little more conviction behind their premise.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. I couldn't even finish this movie. It was so fraking weak.

  2. I don't think I could sit through it again. I had such high hopes from Carell on this one too.