Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Review - Get Smart

Maxwell Smart is a half-witted analyst for CONTROL who has always wanted to become an Agent and help comabt forces against the evil crime organization named KAOS. After the identities of CONTROL become compromised, the Chief has no other option left but to promote Maxwell Smart to Agent 86. The accident prone Smart is then teamed up with the far more able and beautiful Agent 99 to try and foil the most recent evil plan by KAOS.

Get Smart is directed by Peter Segal of Tommy Boy and 50 First Dates and stars Steve Carell as the hazard prone Maxwell Smart made famous from the 1950's television show of the same name. Get Smart is at best an average summer comedy. Carell gives a typical performance that we have grown custom to in NBC's The Office. The script and story are both fairly generic and do not give any surprises. Furthermore the twists throughout Get Smart are particularly predictable and really disapoint in a espionage/comedy. The comedy throughout is mildly amusing with a few highlights here and there. Overall, Get Smart like the old TV show is decent and hold's up as a half-witted effort.

Steve Carell in his performance seems to have fallen into a type-cast. Maxwell Smart bare's far too much resemblence to Michael Scott in the Office or Brick Tamland from Anchorman. Carell's normal shtick is hiliarious, however it begins to wear thin on the viewer throughout the film. The hapless and half-witted nature of his characters just seems redundant at points in Get Smart. I know the whole premise from the original series was the half-witted agent with his able partner, but here seeing Carell do this bit yet again, it has lost its appeal and most of its humor. That said, Carell does have some great moments in this film and some particularly flawless deliveries.

Anne Hathaway plays Agent 99 and does a fine job with what she is given to do. Anne Hathaway is extremely easy on the eyes and does help to keep the film rolling when certain points fall flat. By no means is Hathaway given any chance to show off her real acting chops. She is mainly in the film as eye candy, much like any of the girls casted in any three of the Austin Powers films. Eventhough she is used as mere eye candy, she gives a worthy performance and is a real nice compliment to Carell's deadpan humor. I am sure the two them had a real good time on set together, their chemistry is very aparent throughout the film.

The rest of the cast does leave something to desire and mainly give lack luster performances. Dwanye Johnson fresh off the success of The Game Plan is very flat in the movie and seems to have just phoned in his performance. Alan Arkin, Terry Crews, David Koechner, and Terence Stamp all give dismal performances from usually top notch actors. Alot of the acting does seem to stem from the source material that was given to the actors. Unfortunately for the supporting cast their parts were weak at best and didn't add anything positive to the film. More over they hurt the film and had me wanting for the scene to move on. It is a shame really. On a positive note Bill Murray had a hysterical cameo as Agent 13 who now works in a tree for CONTROL.

Overall Get Smart was a poorly written adaptation of a TV show, that itself wasn't all that great. The acting by Steve Carell is up to par, only it feels like more of the same from Carell. His last film, Dan in Real Life, was far more refreshing to see Carell move away from his normal routine and really excel with a great script. Peter Segal shows that he is far more suited with pure slapstick rather than trying to develop a detailed espionage story and make it work. His other films like Tommy Boy, Anger Management, and 50 First Dates were far better films and stuck to normal slapstick comedy with typical comedy scripts. For fans of the TV show there are a few easter eggs throughout the film and of course we get to see the old shoe phone bit. Get Smart is a decent comedy that could have been not made and no one would have noticed. Get Smart like Bewitched, Leave it to Beaver, Dennis the Menace, and the long list of other TV show made into movies would have been better off unmade and just on late night TV Land re-run episodes.