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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Get Smart

Today's movie review is Get Smart starting Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway as agents 86 and 99 respectively. This movie is from 2008, so I'm going to try not to give any spoilers, but beware that sometimes I slip. Don't read any farther if you for sure don't want anything given away before you see the film.

Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) is an analyst, not an agent when the movie starts, but he's taken the test and passed it with flying colors. The chief, though, says he's too important to lose as an analyst and he will not be working as a field agent. Max is disappointed, but when the identities of every one of CONTROL's agents has been leaked to the enemy, he's sent into the field with Agent 99. She's had extensive plastic surgery and is unrecognizable from her earlier appearance. They go out to battle KAOS and save the world.

I wish I could do a better summary of the movie, but I can't. I thought the plot lacked focus and a strong bad guy. It seemed to me as if the characters were running around for no particular reason without any particular goal or purpose. I'll confess here that I was working on a manuscript while I was watching, so maybe I simply wasn't paying attention when it all would have been made clear. If that were the case, though, you think there'd be more detective work revealed. We're in Russia to find this and because of what we learned, we're going to Washington. I didn't see any of that.

Steve Carell was okay as Maxwell Smart, but he's not Don Adams. I used to watch reruns of the original Get Smart TV series when I was a kid and I used to love it, so he had a big pair of shoes to fill. He made me wish Don Adams was still alive and young enough to play the role. As for Anne Hathaway, she was okay as well, but I didn't see any chemistry between her and Steve Carell and that made the "romance" between the two agents difficult to believe.

The film is 110 minutes long and I enjoyed the last 15 or 20 minutes of it. Yes, it really took that long before I found something to laugh at. If the entire movie would have been like the end, it would have been a fun way to spend an evening. As it stood, I was bored and would have quit long before the finale if I hadn't needed to input some stuff on my manuscript.

My opinion? Give the movie a pass and rent the old television series. It's probably dated, but you'll find out why Don Adams was so perfect as Maxwell Smart and hear all the great signature lines he had. They tried to replicate them in the movie, but they just didn't work like they did in the series.

Rating: 2.25 out of 5