Friday, June 27, 2008

Get Smart Review

Nostalgia is a big selling factor these days, and Hollywood's gotten quite good at remaking those classic shows from yester-year into feature films, and they're even better at messing them up.

Which is why I'm happy to say that Get Smart is an enjoyable film. I can't personally comment on how close they got it to the show, as I never watched it as a kid, but the film itself had just the right amount of whit, satire, and goofs to carry it along.

Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) works as an analyst for CONTROL, a secret anti-terrorist organization who's old enemy organization, CHAOS, has returned. Longing to become an actual agent and follow in the footsteps of his idol, Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson), Max finally gets his chance when the identities of CONTROL's agents are made known leading to a series of assassinations. Paired with the beautiful Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), Max must unravel the mystery and foil CHAOS' nefarious plans.

Even though I never watched the show, I know a bit about it and some of its classic gags, and thought it was hilarious to see many old props from the series displayed in a museum, and for certain gimmicks, like the cone of silence, to return in a re-worked fashion. The great thing about Get Smart is that you don't need to have seen the show to enjoy the film. The trailer sums it up nicely: the film is a cheesy spy-spoof with silly gags set in a plausible world. I'm not talking Naked Gun silly, Get Smart is more mature than that, but the satire will leave you laughing through out the picture.

I was actually surprised with the quality performance portrayed by Dwayne Johnson. Used to seeing him in tough-guy rolls, Johnson fits perfectly as Agent 23, the successful spy trying to adjust to a simple desk job. While all of the supporting cast do a great job, the main performance is the synergy between Carell and Hathaway. The rivalry between Max and 99 works exceptionally well as the newbie tries to prove himself to the veteran. With new gadgets, silly one liners, and a healthy does of naivety, they carry the show. Might I also add the Hathaway is simply gorgeous, a fact the film exploits quite nicely.

In a summer full of action and comic book themed blockbuters, it's a refreshing change to have a spy-spoof that's come off so well as an alternative. Silly and enjoyable, Get Smart may not be the best film of the summer, but it's a laugh that shouldn't be missed.

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