Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Audiences Need to Get Smart

I used to watch Get Smart on Nick at Nite as a kid, which is distressing to me because now kids watch Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on that station. But, by sheer virtue of the cast of the movie Get Smart, I knew I would see it when it came out. Besides the fact that it opened this weekend against The Love Guru.

I am a fan of Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and The Rock. Meaning, I think Carell is hilarious, Hathaway is hot and The Rock kicks ass. I heard that Carell wanted it to be more Bourne Identity than Austin Powers and I think he was right on with the tone of the picture. The movie tells the modern version of how Maxwell Smart became Agent 86. And it seemed most audiences missed out on that major plot point. When people decried Carell’s performance as neither an homage to Don Adams or an original performance on the same comedic level, they didn’t seem to realize that he was creating something new. Like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, his Max Smart is not yet Agent 86 from the series, but an analyst yearning to show everyone what he has. Here again, people complained that he character was simply another incarnation of Michael Scott. If be that they mean a man who’s lonely life revolves around work where his enthusiasm is met with indifference, then yes, some of that might be true. But, the difference between Max and Michael is that Max is always in control (pun unavoidable) of the situation. When you think he is going to screw up, he does then uses the laughs to gun down the enemy, gain secret information or get the girl. The girl, Agent 99, played by Anne Hathaway is terrific in her role, easy on the eyes and with a great back and forth with Carell. Luckily, most of the film is the two of them working together to hunt down stolen nukes and it’s the best parts from the ballroom dancing sequence to Max’s growing frustration at her sexual awareness.

Both Alan Arkin and The Rock seem slightly underused in my opinion. They seem just thrown into the final act and are probably the results of a lot of cuts after test screenings. But the rest of the movie moves pretty good. It’s not Casino Royale, but I liked it better than most spy comedies that I’ve seen. Perhaps, we can see another Get Smart soon, or rather just skip Get Smarter and make Get Smart With A Vengenance.

Get Smart, directed by Peter Segal and starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway is now in theatres.


maz said...

I wonder if he'll be hunted down by Terrance Stamps brother in the third film?

Michael J. Mendez said...

That's brilliant! And then Sam Jackson can be like Nick Fury, yelling at him in a taxi cab through Eastern Europe.