Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

GET SMART (2008)

GET SMART (2008). Director: Peter Segal.

CONTROL Analyst Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is overjoyed to be promoted to field agent, and finds himself working with the famous Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) to stop a fiendish plot by the forces of KAOS. Some may find that this updating of the old television series with Don Adams and Barbara Feldon may not quite work in these post 9/11 days where terrorism is hardly a laughing matter, but aside from that problem Get Smart is not a film without entertainment value. Carell and Hathaway are not as perfect for their roles as Adams and Feldon were, but they aren't bad, and although Carell isn't exactly a lovable performer, he grows on you a bit by the end. Dwayne Johnson is another agent, Alan Arkin is the Chief, James Caan is the president, and Terence Stamp, of all people, is the evil Siegfried, who's planted a bomb at a concert in Los Angeles. There's an exciting skydiving scene when Smart jumps out of a plane without his parachute, and a cute, basically good-natured dance routine with him and a rather large, glamorous female -- Max also shares a quick kiss on the lips with The Rock -- and the climactic chase/battle/race to disarm the bomb is quite well done. Still, many might feel the TV series was funnier.

Verdict: Not bad at times, but a sequel isn't warranted. **1/2.

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