Sunday, July 06, 2008

FILM: Get Smart

On Saturday night, continuing a string of "summer lite" films, we saw Get Smart, and quite enjoyed it. Although I don't recall any ROFLMAO moments, I was grinning often, and pleasantly surprised at how the laughs and the goofiness were nicely woven into a quite decent spy thriller action story. Rather than take it in a completely silly Naked Gun direction, the writers created a nice cocktail of Pink Panther mixed with James Bond, and a dash of Dr. Strangelove. Steve Carrell was an excellent Maxwell Smart, here portrayed as a detail-oriented analyst who wants to move up to being a field agent. And the humorous sparks between him and Anne Hathaway's Agent 99 are every bit as good as our fond memories of Don Adams and Barbara Feldon. Alan Arkin is a great "Chief", having to deal with the diminished prestige and lower budget of his organization since the end of the Cold War, and his scene in the war room confronting the Vice President (a thinly-veiled Dick Cheney character) is hilarious (the dash of Dr. Strangelove -- "gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is a war room!"). Really good performances all around from the rest of the cast, including wrestler-actor Dwayne Johnson as Control's top agent, David Koechner as Larrabee, and many others. Many of the gags and lines from the classic TV series are worked in to the script, but they're not overworked, this would still be a very fun film even if you'd never seen the TV show. And the film even enjoys some self-conscious poking fun at the TV show -- early on we see the relics of the supposedly-defunct secret organization Control have been put on display in the Smithsonian, including the shoephone and the red Sunbeam convertible. Good summer fun.

1 comment:

patrick said...

Get Smart looks pretty good over all though it seems like Steve Carell is veering toward an excess of slapstick humor