Review: Get Smart (2008) PG-13 111min
June 20th, 2008 by Maxim · 6 Comments · 6,282 Views
Director Peter Segal (Nutty Professor II, 50 First Dates) revived flopped spy-spoof TV series from the 60s and 1995 as a feature film based on characters created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. Starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Alan Arkin.
The plot: Maxwell (Max) Smart (Steve Carell – The Office, 40 Year Old Virgin, Horton Hears The Who!, Dan In Real Life, Evan Almighty etc.) is the top analyst at a secret government spy organization called CONTROL. When an evil organization known as KAOS raids headquarters of CONTROL and steals information compromising all field agents, CONTROL has no choice but to promote Max into field agent and send him in pair with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway – Becoming Jane, The Devil Wears Prada, The Brokeback Mountain, The Princess Diaries etc.) to prevent KAOS from detonating a stolen nuclear device in Los Angeles and killing the President. Armed and dangerous, the pair sets on the mission spanning Russia and United States.
The good: if you thought the teaser trailers were funny, the movie is pretty much in line. The script written by Tom Astle and Matt Ember based on Bel Brooks’s and Buck Henry’s TV show is actually better then the original: rather then spanning jokes through TV series episodes, they all got compressed into a feature film length, and keep firing like machine gun. The movie kept a lot of over-the-top gadgetry and spy-gear from the series, such as ubiquitous shoe-phone, explosive dental floss and poison pills hidden in the belt buckles. Great cast. I love Steve Carell in all the movies he made, as well as his Comedy Central appearances on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. The Office is funny too. Just to see a 40 Year Old Virgin as an aspiring super-spy with that puppy-love in his eyes is already funny. But in pair with The Devil Wears Prada star Anne Hathaway they really become a lethal combination. Even though Max’s incompetence as a field agent puts them in danger all the time, there’s a good chemistry and attraction between him and Agent 99. Perhaps the puppy-eyes and the fact that he needs her help and also the fact that he looks better in leather outfits the she – is what attracts Agent 99 to Maxwell. The dialogs were funny and kept a lot of characteristics and shticks of the original series’ dialog, and even when characters talk about sex they never become smutty like in Austin Powers or the latest Mike Miyer’s movie The Love Guru. Bill Murray makes a brief and hilarious appearance in the movie. It also has the gentle giant in it, like in the early James Bond movies. A few, but not overdone, references to current presidency. The scene where Max and 99 have to get through a room protected with high-power laser beams is funny – even though one has seen similar scenes in so many movies this is still funny.
The bad: Some scenes lack energy or are too silly – some silliness is granted by the genre, but if it’s too silly it becomes dumb. Once again, Hollywood could not avoid urination and naked butt shots. Rhythm is uneven at times.
The summary: Better then the original TV series. Funny spy movie spoof. Go see it - you’ll be humming theme song for hours. Compared to other adaptations of series into a feature film, this one is one of the best.
Siegfried: How do I know you’re not from CONTROL?
Maxwell Smart: If I were from CONTROL, you’d already be dead.
Siegfried: If you were from CONTROL, YOU’D already be dead.
Maxwell Smart: Neither of us is dead, so I’m obviously not from CONTROL.
Shtarker: That actually makes sense.
Chief: We don’t just go around stapling paper to people’s heads. That’s CIA crap!
The cast: Maxwell Smart - Steve Carell | Agent 99 - Anne Hathaway | Agent 23 – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson | The Chief – Alan Arkin | Siegfried - Terence Stamp | Agent 91 - Terry Crews | Larabee - David Koechner | The President - James Caan | Agent 13 - Bill Murray | Hymie - Patrick Warburton | Bruce - Masi Oka | Lloyd - Nate Torrence | Shtarker - Ken Davitian | Ladislas Krstic - David S. Lee
The crew: Director – Peter Segal | Written by Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember | Characters by Mel Brooks, Buck Henry | Producers – Peter Segal, Charles Roven, Brent O’Connor, Jimmy Miller, Dana Goldberg, Steve Carell, Alex Gartner, Bruce Berman | Original Musical Score – Trevor Rabin | Cinematography - Dean Semler
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