Get Smart

Get Smart

***

Reviewed by: Maria Realf

After seeing the stars in the flesh (which you can read all about here) it was time to sit back and watch the movie, inspired by the iconic 60s TV series. Steve Carell plays Maxwell Smart, an analyst for the agency CONTROL, who dreams of becoming an undercover spy. However, when the organisation’s headquarters are attacked and the identities of its field agents compromised, Smart gets his wish. He’s paired up with the foxy but feisty Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), whose recent plastic surgery has saved her cover from being blown, and together the two of them must take on the crime syndicate KAOS.

While it’s not the most entertaining comedy of recent years (contenders for that honour would have to include Knocked Up, School Of Rock and another Carell movie, Little Miss Sunshine), Get Smart contains just enough laugh-out-loud moments to merit the price of a cinema ticket.

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Most of the memorable lines come courtesy of Carell, who’s perfectly cast as the accident-prone agent, combining a lovable air of vulnerability with great comic timing. Hathaway is suitably stunning in a variety of Bond Girl-esque outfits, though she’s overshadowed by the boys in almost every scene, and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson – who plays super-suave Agent 23 – is rapidly earning his stripes as a family-friendly action star (although admittedly he’s not faced with particularly challenging dialogue in this). There’s also credible support from Oscar winner Alan Arkin as the agency Chief and Terence Stamp as the evil Siegfried, while wannabe spies should keep their eyes peeled for a Bill Murray cameo.

Yet despite the A-list cast and some spectacular action footage (including an eye-watering freefall sequence), the movie is sometimes too smart for its own good. By trying to poke fun at the many spy stereotypes, the film is filled with clichés, making it feel rather like a poor man’s Austin Powers. And while the gags come thick and fast to start with, there are considerably less laughs in the last 20 minutes, culminating in a pretty predictable finale.

If you’re looking for a sharp-shooting comedy packed with killer wit, Get Smart may leave you a little disappointed. But if you’re content with some light-hearted fun and several quotable quips, then this might just be your bag, baby.

Reviewed on: 13 Jul 2008
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That would be the old resurect- the-nostalgic- 60s-TV Show trick.
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Tony Sullivan ***

Director: Peter Segal

Writer: Tom J Astle, Matt Ember, based on characters created by Mel Brooks, Buck Henry

Starring: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, David Aranovich, Jessica Barth, William Charlton, Terry Crews, Ken Davitian, Fred Fein

Year: 2008

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US

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