Published Jun 20, 2008Hollywoods fiendish plan to reinvent every classic television show for the big screen has finally ensnared Agent 86 and the members of Control in its dastardly grasp. Get Smart, the satirical, James Bond-esque television series created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry has received its "extreme makeover, but thankfully the underlying charm of the old show was not botoxed to oblivion in the tinsel town process.
Fans of the series will recognise the updated world of Maxwell Smart, which fully acknowledges its past, inserting a number of in-jokes that will pass by casual viewers, referencing the original series with the secret agent museum that hides Controls new underground lair. The same family-friendly humour, characters, crazy gizmos and secret agent shtick of the original show are all present and accounted for, only the actors and feature length story are new.
Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is the best Information Analyst at the super-secret spy agency known as Control. But when Controls underground bunker is compromised by an attack from the evil members of Kaos, the somewhat bumbling Smart is promoted to Agent status and teamed with the sexy and competent Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway). The two are sent into the field to stop Kaos from creating nuclear bombs, assassinating the President and destroying Los Angeles in an evil scheme to take over the world.
More James Bond than Austin Powers, Get Smart suffers from its own in-between nature. The film does have many funny moments and slapstick gags but it tries too hard to counter its cartoon humour with semi-serious super-spy action, leaving the story trapped in genre limbo. With many of its funniest moments portrayed in the TV commercials, and longish gaps between laughs, Get Smart doesnt have the comedic kick necessary to fight off the likes of other summer comedies like You Dont Mess With The Zohan, which also features a goofy super-agent.
Fans and families looking for an old fashioned PG movie for all ages will find Get Smart enjoyable enough, but everyone else should be smart and wait for the DVD. (Warner)