Posts Tagged ‘get smart


Movie Review: Get Smart



Sorry about this one, Chief.


Starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, and James Caan. Directed by Peter Segal


For the most part, it was enjoyable.


The story: Maxwell Smart (Carell) works for CONTROL, an organization that rivals the CIA and is thought to be defunct. Smart is one of the best linguists for CONTROL, producing reports on singular conversations that look like tomes of literature. What he really wants to do, however, is be a field agent. On his eighth try he passes the test, but Chief (Arkin) won’t promote him because Smart is too good at his job.


When Siegfried (Stamp), a terrorist wanting to get KAOS back into action, blows up a factory and infiltrates CONTROL, agents are killed and their identities compromised, the Chief has no choice but to send out Smart (because no one knows who he is) and Agent 99 (Hathaway), who had facial reconstruction surgery (know one knows who she is, either).


Meanwhile, Siegfried and KAOS have a plan: the President (Caan, doing a “W” impersonation) will be attending a concert at L.A.’s Disney Hall. During the final notes of “Ode to Joy,” –KABOOM. Ensuring this plan is Shtarker (Ken Davitian) and a gigantic bodyguard named Dalip (Dalip Singh), as well as the possibility of a double-agent inside CONTROL.


What works for this movie is the “amusing” humor. Not always laugh-out-loud, not always knee-slapping, but whimsical, amusing humor. It’s this light-hearted humor that sustains for the first third of the movie. From there it goes to action sequences (the best I’ve seen done for a comedy movie) that are broken-up by an occasional remark or laugh-out-loud moment.


Carell’s plays Maxwell Smart as a doggish-character who gets kicked around a lot, but keeps loyal to the task at hand. He may not be 100% the Maxwell Smart envisioned a la Don Adams, but he’s the closest we got. Hathaway does a good job at being Agent 99, but I think she was a little young for Carell. Arkin was great as The Chief, and Dwayne Johnson did a good job, too. Hell, even Bill Murray did a good job as Agent 13 (an agent forever disguised as a tree).


Is there anything I didn’t like about the movie? Not really. I wasn’t expecting a lot. Does it stack up to the television show? Seeing as how the show was on the air decades ago, it’s kinda difficult. I mean, condense a TV show down to a two-hour film and don’t use the actors who were originally in it. Is it a good idea or a bad idea? Should we continue making movies based off of TV shows? That’s a discussion for another time.


Kudos to Trevor Rabin for making music that really stood out.


Overall, this movie was enjoyable in a “kill an afternoon” sorta way. If this doesn’t make the money it needs at the box office, it’ll be a hit when it comes out on DVD and makes its way to cable.


My grade: B


June 2008 Movie Releases




“Kung Fu Panda” – Animated adventure about a panda who is the “Chosen One” and must defeat a Tiger of ancient evil. Voices by Jack Black and Angelina Jolie. Opens June 6, 2008


“Miss Conception” – Heather Graham plays “beat the biological clock” as she goes through myriads of men, just to get a donor. Was there a line for this? Opens June 6, 2008


“The Promotion” – Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly are supermarket managers vying for a managerial position at a new location. Will this inspire other like-wise films? Maybe competition among Wal-Mart employees? Whatever. Opens June 6, 2008.


“You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” – Adam Sandler is Israeli counter-terrorist who move to America to be hair stylist. I not make this up. Opens June 6, 2008


“The Happening” – M. Night Shamma-Lamma-Ding-Dong’s next movie. A sci-fi “plants are taking over” story with Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, and John Leguizamo. Opens June 13, 2008


“The Incredible Hulk” – Dr. David Bruce Banner / Hulk is back, this time played by Ed Norton. Complications arise when he’s taken on by Abomination, a creature that matches his size and strength. Reportedly, their fight scene is 26 minutes long. Opening June 13, 2008


“Quid Pro Quo” – Nick Stahl is a guy who is paralyzed and is investigating a world where people get their kicks from becoming disabled. He’s led into this world by none other than Vera Farmiga. It could be worse… Opens June 13, 2008


“Get Smart” – Steve Carell is Agent Maxwell Smart. Anna Hathaway is Agent 99. Alan Arkin is the Chief. The Rock is in on it as well. Opens June 20, 2008


“Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” – Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) plays the title character (based on the American Girl stories) about a girl who wants to be a reporter during the Depression. When a murder is committed, she takes the job of investigating. Maybe she can get some help from Nancy Drew… Also stars Joan Cusack. Opening June 20, 2008


“The Love Guru” – Mike Myers, Justin Timberlake, and Jessica Alba in a story of a man brought up in India who comes to the U.S. trying to break into the self-help business. Opens June 20, 2008


“Finding Amanda” – Matthew Broderick is a compulsive gambler sent to Las Vegas to find his 20-year-old niece Amanda (Britney Snow), who is now a hooker, and take her to rehab. No, no, no. Opening June 27, 2008


“Wall*E” – A lonely robot left on a planet finally gets a friend after 700 years, only for her to be taken away. Pixar’s latest venture. The trailer is great! Opening June 27, 2008


“Wanted” – James MacAvoy becomes the latest drama-turned-action star in a story about a young man who finds out that his dad was an assassin and now, HE’S part of the fraternity. It also includes Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie. Opening June 27, 2008