Saturday, June 28, 2008

Get Smart Review

Get Smart, a spy spoof based on a TV series of the same name, follows bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart and his partner, Agent 99. A government agency known as Control promotes Max and gives him his first assignment as an agent in an attempt to foil attempts at domination by the evil organization KAOS. Hilarity ensues.

Let me start with a comparison to the series. I think that fans of the series will love this movie. Steve Carell does a great job of capturing the essence of Agent 86 left behind by Don Adams, and the movie as a whole holds closely to the general feel of the show. The biggest general difference is that the movie is clearly more modernized. A lot of the corny humor has been replaced by what is now mainstream, but a number of the show's catch phrases and other motifs were fit in. Siegfried is not nearly as over-the-top as he was in the show, which makes the comedic spotlight shine more brightly on 86. Even so, I think that some of the funniest moments came from Alan Arkin as the Chief of Control. Hymie is briefly introduced, but allow me to emphasize the word briefly. He's barely mentioned. Maybe they wanted to set him up for use in a potential sequel, but as it is, it was rather pointless to have him there at all.

I think this movie is hilarious, and a lot of the humor is well-done. Though silly, it's not as shallow as the humor in other recent comedies. Basically, this movie isn't just sillyness for the sake of sillyness; it's actually a solid comedic effort that represents a strong collaboration between the writers, director, and actors. Hell, even The "Dwayne Johnson" Rock has some funny moments. Not every fan of Juno will like this movie, but it's a big step above the average comedy.

Although I suppose it was a bit inevitable, it seems that in some situations, the whole scene was set up just to work in a catch phrase or two from the show. The result is that while some of these moments are funny, they don't always seem to fit seamlessly with the rest of the plot.

Fans of the show owe it to themselves to see this movie. For everyone else, there is still a lot to love, even if you miss out on some of the inside jokes. Sure, it could have been better, but I was very happy to see a well-made TV remake for once.

Caius's Rating: 3.5 stars

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