With loads of action, quirky humor, jazzy music, and shoe phones, Get Smart has admirably mimicked the blend of genres and innovations that made the original series so memorable, and while die-hard fans will likely pick apart what this re-envisioning doesn't get right, it's almost impossible not to laugh at Steve Carell's ludicrous on screen antics.
Over-analyzing analyst Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) dreams of becoming an official Agent for the top secret government organization CONTROL, and longs to execute action-packed spy missions like his idol, the charismatic Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson). When CONTROL headquarters is attacked by longtime nemesis group KAOS and many of the Agents' identities are compromised, Smart is promoted to Agent 86 and partners with the unwilling Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) to thwart the villainous group's latest plan for world domination.
Whether or not Steve Carell perfectly embodies Maxwell Smart, he certainly knows how to handle his comedy. Excelling at both physical and verbal-stemmed laughs, Carell makes the tumbles look as easy as his notable style of quick quips and clever observations, and the funnyman seems to garner chortles even when the rest of the crew can't quite muster an equal energy. Anne Hathaway provides the good looks and serious attitude to counter Agent 86's incessant jokes, and the pair's on screen chemistry gels nicely throughout the majority of the film. A few slips and failed retorts interrupt the flow of their characters' progressions, but are quickly forgotten in the grand scheme. Alan Arkin furnishes several of the funniest moments in the movie and the Academy Award-winning actor never misses a beat when the camera turns his way. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson again confirms his status as a reliable comedic presence and laudably supports the leads. Many interesting cameos perforate the film, and while they're amusingly recognizable, they're also regrettably wasted. Few draw laughs with clever dialogue or comedic prowess, but rather produce a quick smile for those that get the reference or enjoy the recognition.
The humor throughout Get Smart always orbits around Carell and his singular style of comedy. Those that don't take a liking to his brand of wit will undoubtedly be less amused, as he is clearly the driving force behind the vast majority of the entertainment value present. While Carell's lines are rarely delivered without a magnetic humor, many of the conversations lose their luster midway, due to faltering dialogue and a lack of focus on creating the biggest laughs. Several of the extravagant set-pieces end with many a missed opportunity to supply more hilarity, and lots of little laughs spread the truly uproarious moments too thin. While a healthy dose of romance, drama, and some truly spectacular action scenes appears commendable, the devotion to these components often shortchanges the comedy.
From exotic locales to storm drains, and Moscow to Disney Hall, the action and humor follows Maxwell Smart at breakneck speed. A few feeble gags and missed chances at grand hilarity can't ruin the fun; and while they might have "missed it by just that much," it's not enough to detract from Carell's dynamic performance and the inspired comedy that trails closely behind.
- The Massie Twins
Action / Adventure
Action / Adventure
American Maxwell Smart works for a Government spy agency in an administrative capacity. When the agency's head office is attacked, the Chief decides to assign Maxwell as a spy and partners him with sexy Agent 99, much to her chagrin. The duo nevertheless set off to combat their attackers by first parachuting off an airplane and landing in Russian territory - followed closely by an over seven feet tall, 400 pound goon, known simply as Dalip. The duo, handicapped by Maxwell's antics, will eventually have their identities compromised, and may be chalked up as casualties, while back in America their attackers have already planted a bomb that is set-up to explode in a concert.
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September 20, 2012 at 1:51 am