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Movie Review: Get Smart

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Get Smart, in theaters today, is the remake of the ’60s television series about a top secret government spy agency, CONTROL, and its arch nemesis KAOS. Admittedly, I am pretty much completely unfamiliar with the original show beyond the shoe phone and Don Adams, so this review is with fresh eyes not tainted by fandom of the source material.

Get Smart stars Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne (formerly The Rock) Johnson, Alan Arkin, Masi Oka, and Terence Stamp. The plot surrounds KAOS trying to get nuclear material and exposing the identities of CONTROL’s secret agents around the world, which leads to the promotion of Maxwell Smart from Analyst to Field Agent. To call it paper-thin would be an exaggeration. The movie doesn’t have a plot so much as an excuse to set up its clichéd and tired action sequences.

Oh, did I mention the movie is bad? I guess I haven’t made it that far yet. Let’s get that out of the way now. The movie is bad. Terrible even. I was looking forward to this movie. The first trailer I saw got me excited and eager to see it. When the opportunity came up to review it, I was all over it. I’m not sure what happened between the trailer and the actual movie, but the excitement and the eagerness vanished as I was watching the movie.

The laughs are just not there. I chuckled once, maybe twice.

It’s not for lack of trying. The cast does their best. Steve Carell was a great choice to take over the franchise; it’s just the material he is working with isn’t very good. There is nothing new here, not a single moment of original thought in the movie. It can barely be called a spoof because it’s not funny enough, and it’s certainly not a serious spy movie because it’s too silly.

The rest of the cast is serviceable with the exception of Terence Stamp. This may be the first time this has been said, but he was simply awful. Maybe it was just a paycheck for him or he knew going in that he was going to be in a crap movie, but he certainly gave zero effort.

I’m trying to think of something good to say about the movie. There are a couple cameos, one of which is so pointless I can’t begin to understand why they even put him in the movie. I guess it was another scene that was supposed to be funny that was brutally not; it was downright uncomfortable.

The ending was so predictable I had to hold my breath to keep from groaning. They do try to pay homage to the show at one point. I’ll leave that detail unspoiled for those of you that plan on wasting your money on this. To be honest, I found myself more interested in the number of Raisinets that came in the box I was holding than the actual movie.

In the end, Get Smart is a dull, uninspired, clichéd mess. Skip it.

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About Garon Cockrell

  • Jordan Richardson

    So Anne Hathaway was serviceable? I’m in!

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/39420/joanne_huspek.html Joanne Huspek

    Thanks for the review. I’m thinking Steve Carell is tapped out. He’s been playing the same character for his last six movies. Plus, all those wacky gadgets that made the TV show a success are now a reality. Can we all say “ho-hum?”

    I think I’ll wait for the DVD to come out.

  • Derek Fleek

    I’m still probably going to see it. At least I now know what to expect. Thanks for the heads up Garon.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    The movie, while not as funny as the series, is not as bad as this review indicates. I saw an early cut of the film and while there were flaws in the story, thought it worked better than expected and had more laughs than a typical Hollywood blockbuster.

  • http://www.HowToWriteComedy.com Joseph C. Cavella

    Get Smart movie review

    As one of the writers of the original “Get Smart” TV series, I was dismayed by the new, flawed “Get Smart” movie–I never understood why remakes don’t at least talk to the original material writers. Maybe it’s a kind of immature tantrum, “I want to do it myself, mom.”

    That said, for the writers of the next remake, here’s a bit of advice: The essence, the fun of the Don Adams character was his child-like confidence and his bravado (not unlike the character often played by Bob Hope) presaging the inevitable catastrophic blunder. “Sorry about that.”

    Any writer charged with vetting agent 86 should start by studying the origin of the character, Don’s early nightclub routines. His defense attorney bit: “Look at those trim ankles, the well turned calf. Now I ask you. Are those the legs of a homicidal maniac?”

    Joseph C. Cavella