Movie News, Reviews and More!
get smart

Get Smart
Peter Segal
Cast: Steve Carrell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Bill Murray, James Caan, Alan Arkin, Terry Crews, Patrick Warburton

Michael Olsen

June 30, 2008


From the summers (or years) past there is a good handful of films where you can tell that Hollywood is just scraping at the bottom of the ‘unoriginal scripts idea’ bin (I know it exists, it’s the only place where they could have found Bewitched or The Dukes of Hazard).  Excluding Horton Hears a Who, Speed Racer, and Sex and the City this year hasn’t been that bad for the bin.  I could count the twenty-some comic book films that are out this year, but I actually have been looking forward to a lot of those!

In 1965, Mel Brooks (who was still a bit unknown at this time) and Buck Henry, created a hilarious sitcom, that satirized James Bond and other secret agent films/shows.  Get Smart was one of the best comedies of the Sixties. The show is still enjoyable to this day; and was a regular show for me to watch on Nick at Nite (until they took it off).  It’s been thirty-eight years since the end of the original sitcom and since we last saw that iconic character, Maxwell Smart, played by the lovable Don Adams.  It is now 2008 and we are reintroduced to Agent 86.

The film follows the determined accountant, Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) from the U.S. spy agency, Control.  He has the greatest desire to become Control’s next field agent.  An attack by the reprobated crime coalition, KAOS, hits Control’s headquarters and compromises the identities of most of their top field agents.  The Chief (Alan Arkin), has no other choice but to promote Max to the field, as Agent 86.  Max’s life long dream is coming to reality.  Instead of being paired up with his idol and close mentor, Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson), Max is partnered with the highly experienced and stylishly beautiful, Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway).  Between her lethal and adept fighting skills and Max’s high-tech spy gadgets they must prevent KAOS’s secret doomsday plan from being implemented.

As being a semi-moderate fan of the original show, I was somewhat reluctant to catch this remake/re-envisioning of Mel Brooks iconic creation.  I won’t pussyfoot around this, I wasn’t overly impressed with the film!  Steve Carell was enjoyable and made a great attempt at making the character his own and not just ripping off of Don Adams.  I also liked the humorous and small stand-in by Bill Murray as Agent 13 who (in the original show) would always be the agent covertly hiding in odd places (e.g. mailboxes, washing machines, trees).  Nonetheless I really didn’t care for much of the rest of the film.  I laughed quite a bit during “The Rock’s” performance.

“Oh, I’m sorry! I mean Dwayne Johnson… if he is trying to be taken seriously as an actor, why doesn’t he invest some of his time with an acting coach?  Assuming said acting coach isn’t associated with the WWF/WWE/WTF/etc.

I had a problem with Anne Hathaway as agent 99.  I know Barbara Feldon was considered one of the more suave female icons of the Sixties. On Get Smart she would showcase some of the most chic wear.  With Hathaway, I felt she was stealing that idea from Feldon, and then gagging me with an Apple iPhone.  Every time she was on, she would have something by Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, or Hindmarch.  I understand that it may be the norm for today’s fashion, but there are still techniques on how to make it look good. I also found her to be a poorly-developed character throughout the film.  One moment she is a quick-witted, vivacious, dominating agent, while inversely being a humble girl with real life problems.  I know there are better ways of developing an interest with her character rather than force feeding it to us.

The film’s director comes to us from a long line of other “great” comedies such as The Longest Yard (2005), 50 First Dates, and Anger Management. Peter Segal along with Failure to Launch writers, Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember seem to have created their own film.  The film’s structure, or lack thereof, is not in the same fashion as the sitcom, nor is it an enjoyable film.  It’s a hybrid of  slap-stick comedy, flimsy low-key action, and camera visuals that look as if they were created by some hot shot Turk 182 noob film student.  The direction nonetheless is very lacking, no “Um pa pa!” for your buck!  There are several things I can nit-pick, and I think I’m only going to speak of the one that pissed me off the most.  The opening of the original Get Smart had a classic theme; Max walks down a long corridor of large, protective, metal doors and then drops down to CONTROL HQ via phone booth. I always thought that was a simple, yet intriguing introduction. Ironically, the doors look as if they were made of Styrofoam and sheet metal which isn’t acceptable in the 21st Century.  Everything is made of CGI and silicone… you heard me right!

Overall, I cannot recommend the film.  I enjoyed Mel Brooks and his style and I am not going to accept swallowing a spoonful of Hollywood’s magical diarrhea and say, “Boy, I really liked that Get Smart movie!”  In short, I believe Get Smart was best left as a Sixties sitcom and not another regurgitated TV show-turned-big-budget-film.


We would love to hear what you think! Agree? Disagree with this Moviebuff? Send your Review in TODAY!
Click here to send us your review
Or copy and paste into your email browser:
include your review in your email!