Get Smart Peter Segal

Get Smart Peter Segal
Since adaptations of the small screen for the big screen became a priority for Hollywood, you can count the number of victories on one hand (The Untouchables, The Brady Bunch and arguably Miami Vice), chiefly because most series just aren’t suitable for a feature film upgrade. But Get Smart, the Mel Brooks-created action sitcom from the ’60s, makes sense because of its straightforward formula: James Bond-like spy action/adventure smothered in comedic bits. Director Peter Segal does it quite effortlessly here, thanks to Steve Carell’s flexibility as a comedic actor and surprisingly, believability as an action hero. Of course, as Maxwell Smart, a lot of Carell’s big action scenes are accidental but therein lays Get Smart’s appeal. The plot follows Max as he’s about to be promoted from CONTROL (aka the Secret Service) analyst to field agent. Denied the promotion initially, a security breach by the evil spy organization KAOS finds him falling into the job. Teamed with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), Max is sent to prevent the baddies from assassinating the President (James Caan) and fulfilling their bid for world domination, but not without some hiccups. Thanks to Carell’s gift for comic timing and his overall adorability, he lives up to Don Adams’ original charm in the lead role, delivering punch lines without turning extended gags, such as ballroom dancing with an obese woman and fumbling with a Swiss Army knife in an airplane bathroom, into extensive laughathons. More importantly, though, where Get Smart succeeds most is in using relatively clean yet hilarious jokes to help tell the story and develop the well-rounded cast of characters, something that in today’s market feels long lost. The two-disc version of the DVD takes things up a notch, adding a curious feature called the "Comedy Optimization Mode,” which allows you to watch the film with the deleted scenes in their appropriate spots. It’s a valuable bonus that shows different takes on jokes, including a great exchange between Carell and Bill Murray, the agent assigned to hiding in a tree. On the second disc is the obligatory look behind the scenes, which, for once, is actually worth a viewing for Carell’s humour alone, as well as two other specific featurettes on location and language, two prominent facets of the film. Plus: gag reel. (Warner)