Get Smart (2008)

In a modern big screen adaption of the popular 1960’s television show, Get Smart is Directed by Peter Segal, and stars Steve Carrell as the infamous Maxwell Smart in this goofy, light-hearted action-adventure comedy.

Having never once seen a single frame of the original television show, I can’t be counted on to contrast or compare this new big screen version, but what I can say, is that I had a damn good time watching it. A few nights before my viewing, my parents apprehended my newly arrived copy from Netflix (one of the three greatest inventions of my lifetime), and as fans of the old show growing up, ended up turning it off in disgust less than thirty minutes in. Is this a typical reaction from fans of the series? Who knows? Did it affect my enjoyment of the movie? Not at all. What always helps in these types of goofy slapstick humor movies, is the film had many modern fan favorite actors (Steve Carrell, The Rock, Alan Arkin, Masi Oka, and the stunningly gorgeous Anne Hathaway), a quality sometimes missing and underappreciated in many other films.

The plot of the film; which is more a formality than anything else, and is essentially inconsequential; revolves around “Control” analyst Maxwell Smart finally reaching the level of field agent, and teaming up with beautiful Agent 99 (Hathaway), Agent 23 (The Rock) and the Chief (Arkin) to stop the evil organization known as KAOS from obtaining and setting off a nuclear weapon. Smart is promoted, in large part, due to the fact that KAOS has learned the secret identities of all the undercover Control operatives in the world and taken out the Control command center to render them mute in the coming struggle. Smart becomes Agent 86, and together with Agent 99, sets out on a series of adventures and wackiness ensues.

I found the film to be funny, and enjoyable from the start, and it only got better as it went along. I also knew what type of film I was watching, and so I had my expectations pretty low going in. Carrell is outstanding in the lead role and brings his great style of humor, mixed in (I guess?) with classic Maxwell Smart moments and catch phrases, such as “Missed it, by that much.” Alongside Carrell, Anne Hathaway does what she’s expected to do in the film, which is deliver a few funny lines, look overly serious and then kick serious KAOS butt and look sexy as hell while doing it. The Rock is also funny in his limited role, and Alan Arkin is wonderful as the chief.

The action scenes, in particular the finale, are actually done quite well and are very entertaining, even without the addition of Carrell’s comedy. The chemistry between the cast, especially Carrell and Hathaway is very evident while watching the film as well, and it looks like they all had a great time making the movie. The geeky tech-guy sidekicks are also funny. Not funny enough to have warranted there own straight to video film, but they were funny. And while the film certainly doesn’t challenge us mentally, it is a simple pleasure, and nowadays…thats not a bad thing once in awhile.

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