Get Smart (2008)

Director:  Peter Segal
Cast:  Steve CarellAnne Hathaway, Alan Arkin, Dwayne Johnson, Bill Murray.
Plot:  Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, battles the forces of KAOS with the more-competent Agent 99 at his side.

Genre:  Action / Adventure / Comedy
Awards:  -
Runtime:  110min
Rating:  PG for some rude humor, action violence and language.

Peter Segal's remake of the hit TV series, Get Smart, is less of a nostalgic affair than expected.  The effort is there for all to see though.  Running at slightly less than two hours, Segal's movie still feels a tad too long.  I'm not complaining though, because it's definitely a hell lot better (and shorter) than Sex and the City (another TV-to-cinema transition).

Steve Carell plays a bumbling secret agent with a face of a statue.  During scenes which require him to show physical emotion, his deliberate stoic facial expression is a constant source of hilarity. 

The chemistry between Carell and Anne Hathaway is sizzling, which is an important factor that elevates Get Smart into something more than a derivative action-comedy.  While Adam Sandler shows he's past his prime in the new comedy, Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008), fellow comedian Carell proves that he has what it takes to last the distance than Sandler. 

Hathaway, apart from being eye candy, plays her role more effectively than most Bond girls would have accomplished.  The strong references to Bond pictures in Get Smart should end just there.  There is no need for a comparison. Get Smart is played for laughs, while 007 films are coy with comedy.

Get Smart has several laugh-out-loud dialogue sequences including an unforgettable one in which Carell’s character meets two armed Russian baddies in their 'nuclear facility'.  The action sequences are at times unrealistic (especially the 'parachuting' part) though technically quite well done.  However, the attempt to infuse loads of humorous material into action scenes takes it toll after a while.

The climactic scene in the concert hall is reminiscent of Hitchcock's own take in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).  Even though Get Smart has its moments, it's never a top-notch action-comedy.  It will get plenty of laughs though, but it is never enough.


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Anonymous said…
Get Smart looks okay over all though Steve Carell seems to be veering more and more toward not so funny slapstick humor

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