Get Smart

Get Smart

(2008)
In this TV-adaptation of the 60s spoof spy series, Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is on a mission to thwart the latest plot for world domination by the evil crime syndicate known as KAOS.

When the headquarters of U.S. spy agency Control is attacked and the identities of its agents compromised, The Chief (Alan Arkin) has no choice but to promote his over-eager analyst Maxwell Smart, who has always dreamt of working in the field alongside stalwart superstar Agent 23 (The Rock).

Smart is partnered instead with the only other agent whose identity has not been compromised: the lovely-but-lethal veteran Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway). As Smart and 99 get closer to unraveling KAOS’ master plan – and each other – they discover that key KAOS operative Siegfried (Terence Stamp) is scheming to cash in with his network of terror.

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Flicks Review

Films based on ancient TV shows are usually pretty poor (Bewitched, The Avengers, The Dukes of Hazzard), but Get Smart proves the exception to that rule, managing to be amusing and enjoyable with Steve Carrell on fine form as bumbling spy, Maxwell Smart.

The story is predictable secret agent stuff, with some bad guys (led by Terrence Stamp) trying to steal nuclear weapons. But it provides a good excuse for a fairly regular string of gags, which hit more often than miss.

The casting is spot on. Carrell often looks as if he has stepped straight out of the 60s and Anne Hathaway’s Agent 99 even dons a Barbara Feldon wig at one point. There are many references to the series, in particular when some classic cars get put to good use.

There’s still something a bit been-there-done-that. After Austin Powers and Johnny English, the spy spoof genre has been wrung dry. Thankfully, Get Smart manages to keep energy levels up and surpasses modest expectations to become a fun little comedy that proves that sometimes, if you’re lucky, your favourite classic TV show makes a good film.



The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY AaronG superstar

Never seen the TV series, but this film is really great!


As Hollywood continues to pump out the remakes, one of the classics which underwent a cinematic facelift this year was the 60’s TV spy-comedy show Get Smart. A satire of the secret agent genre, the show was hugely popular in its time and when film producers sought a 21st Century equivalent of bumbling lead character Maxwell Smart they turned to one man: Steve Carell.

Light entertainment is the aim of this snappy action-comedy, as right from the start it’s clear that this film doesn’t... More take itself too seriously. Scenes where the action and intensity are raised are punctured with humour to get you laughing again. By possessing a healthy balance of slapstick, cringe moments and slick one-liners, Get Smart hits the right note for this generation of movie-goers. The cast choices are also spot-on for the task of crafting a modern, refreshed version of the show for a newer and younger audience who may be unfamiliar with the series. Johnson is super-suave as usual and Hathaway nails the sexy, action-girl type persona needed for her role. Carell wields the deadly comedic timing and presence that is so familiar to him and which is crucial to the success of both the character and film.

Overall Get Smart is an extremely easy-going film which requires no prior knowledge of the original series in order to enjoy its inspired characters and humour, although there are several nods to the original in there which may pass you by if that is the case. In terms of modernising a classic for a new generation, Get Smart would have to be rated a success.Hide


As an avid watcher or the reruns of this as a kid i was apprehensive that they might of ruined the show, but luckily it wasnt bad infac it was quite enjoyable. I think the right balance between the comedy and action was reached, although this maxwell smart was slightly less unco than the original.


The Press Reviews

51% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Get Smart neglects the laughs and amps up the action, resulting in a not very funny comedy joined at the hip to a not very exciting spy movie. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Full Review

  • It flounders whenever it tries to weave the real world into its fantasia, partly because it isn't really about anything other than making money, partly because the spy-versus-spy battle doesn't entertain the way it once did. Full Review

  • Carell might resemble Don Adams' original Max in appearance but he gives him his own strait-laced sense of the ridiculous, while Hathaway's 99 is a fine, feisty foil. They help Get Smart rise above some pretty low expectations. Though unfortunately they've probably made the world safe for yet more classic TV remakes we're not sure we wanted in the first place. Full Review

  • Director Peter Segal ups the ante on the action, aiming for Bourne more than Bond, but the stunts grow frenzied and increasingly flat. Full Review

  • That Max Smart is played by the admirable Steve Carell, who is desperately looking for deadpan jokes in all the wrong places, is beside the point. Full Review

  • Helmer Peter Segal's formulaic takeoff is neither fish nor fowl, not quite faithful to the show, but not quite bringing it into the 21st century either. Full Review