Monday, June 16, 2008


I must apologize in advance for not being born in the late 50's or early 60's and therefore not watching the original series on television. Still, the original GET SMART had a large cult following and many of its antics are known all over, or maybe it's just me, like the catchphrase, "Missed it by that much," I love that. This new 2008 movie adaptation of the show stars Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart aka Agent 86, Anne Hathaway as Agent 99, Alan Arkin as the Chief and Dwayne Johnson as Agent 23. It's good to know that Mel Brooks was consulted for this film as he wasn't for some of the previous iterations of the series. Keep reading on for the rest of my review.
So let's start at the end. There will be a sequel, maybe even a whole franchise, I'm sure of it, and that is fine. I would really enjoy seeing Carell as Max Smart in another two of three SMART films. But, things might have to get worse before they get any better. The films start with a quirky Max Smart going through his regular morning rituals of getting ready for work. Through little Post-It notes left around the house we find out the Smart is a lonely yet funny man who enjoys his work and also that exam results will be in today for whether or not Smart made Agent status. Smart works for a secret government organization (among many) named CONTROL and are housed under Washington D.C. Basically, Smart have been an analyst for CONTROL, one of the best I might add, and only hopes now to be promoted to Agent status. It's at HQ that we are introduced to several other characters played by bumbling funnyman David Koechner of Anchorman fame, Terry Crews, Masi Oka of HEROES, and Nate Torrence.
Smart is denied a promotion for being too good at his analyst position but is soon after made partner to Agent 99 (Hathaway) after the HQ is broken into and Agents' identities are known, CONTROL has been compromised. So begins the journey of our little tugboat that must find, together with his partner, known accomplices and ultimately find the whereabouts of opposing terrorist organization, KAOS.Filmmakers did a great job of balances the action and comedy as well as mixing it well with the romance between Agent 86 and 99 though it was off kilter at times. My advice to Anne Hathaway is to be more convincing. It's not that her acting was completely off, she is great but at times seemed to have half-assed her performance. The chemistry between Hathaway and Carell doesn't always flow smoothly. Many of the jokes get great laughs thanks to Carell's excellent timing and delivery but other jokes throughout the film fall flat. What doesn't fall flat though are Anne Hathaway's looks. Oof! I have always loved her soft look and pale white skin. Mmhmm.
I know I didn't catch all of the references to the GET SMART series but I caught several. Aside from the gadgets, characters and well known phrases all gave nod to their origin. All in all, after watching this, I realized that it gave us nothing more than what JOHNNY ENGLISH, with Rowan Atkinson, gave us which I enjoyed very much. I think I would really like to see Carell take on another GET SMART mission but it's going to have to be bigger, better and aiming for quality. It's a fun watch but unless you take a friend or a date, keep your $8 a little longer and just rent it on DVD/BluRay.
GET SMART gets a 7.2/10
Below, for you viewing pleasure, I have a few pictures of Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell. Enjoy.

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