Saturday, June 21, 2008

Get Smart - Movie Review

Before the movie there were endless commercials and a few previews. Hellboy II got very little reaction, but The Dark Knight got whistles and applause from our crowd. Swing Vote got some scattered snickers.

GET SMART (***1/4) - Starring Steve Carell, Anne hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, James Caan, Terry Crews, David Koechner, Masi Oka, Nate Torrence, Ken Davitian, Dalip Singh, Bill Romanowski and Bill Murray.
Written by Tom J. Astle & Matt Ember.
Directed by Peter Segal.

I've read some cranky critical reviews of this, and I don't get what their problem is. Maybe they all saw in an empty theater and the popcorn was stale, and they'd just seen three episodes the night before and were demanding purity.

I haven't seen an episode of Get Smart for over 20 years, and that shouldn't be pertinent to my enjoyment. I thought parts of it were hilarious. Even some jokes that have been given away in the commercials, I laughed out loud watching them in the context of the movie.

Steve Carell is Maxwell Smart, super-efficient information analyst for secret spy agency CONTROL who dreams of being a field agent, and who happens to be fairly incompetent in matters of actual field work. I felt he was true to the spirit of Don Adams without trying to do an impression of him. In fact, I can't picture a better actor for the part.

When the identities of most CONTROL agents are exposed, Smart gets his promotion and works with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), who thinks he's a bumbling idiot. The two have nice chemistry, although I do wish they'd cast someone not young enough to be Carell's daughter. But c'est Hollywood!

The movie has a surprising amount of action pieces, not all of which are engaging or effective, but the comedy is there, and if you can see it in a semi-full theater, more power to you. I had a great time.

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