Steve Carell will never be Don Adams. Adams was iconic in his role as Maxwell Smart, and no matter how it’s been remade, Get Smart will always be remembered for Adams. Still, Carell does a fantastic job in updating the character in this remake, creating his own spin that’s immensely funny and enjoyable.
The heart of Get Smart is still here, that of a goofy, often unintelligent CONTROL agent working under the vice president. Smart (Carell) is tasked with bringing down a terrorist organization appropriately named KAOS. The thin plot is standard good versus evil involving nukes inside Los Angeles, and loads of priceless one-liners to go along with it. Numerous scenes exist purely for their laughs, not for plot development.
The loaded cast all take their performances to heart, brilliantly projecting an inept secret government agency. The film belongs to Carell and Anne Hathaway, but it’s nearly stolen by Alan Arkin. He delivers what may be the film’s best line immediately following a near-death experience. Dwayne Johnson is wasted, given little screen time even though his character plays a major role in the story.
Obviously, the original show is given numerous nods and homages throughout. The opening door gag is here, and arguably better than it ever was. Bill Murray has a bizarre cameo in a tree, but it’s nonetheless funny. The finale is also an action and comedic blast, despite some seriously lo-fi special effects.
Get Smart is a worthy remake of a classic show, and even if you’re a die-hard fan, it would be hard to imagine what this remake could do to taint your memories. It’s a well-executed comedic romp with some engaging action and fine performances. It’s not perfect, but it could have been so much worse.
For a new film, Get Smart is a disappointing Blu-ray. The transfer is muddy, soft, and lacking definition. Black levels range from superb to mediocre. The transfer lacks depth, coming off flat and uninspired. Flesh tones waver towards orange. Fine detail is rare through the haziness of the presentation. Some minor artifacting can be spotted from time to time.