Review: 'Get Smart' adaptation actually works

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Adaptations stink, generally. I loathed the "Dukes of Hazzard," hated the new "Knight Rider" and am not looking forward to the new A-team film that John "Boyz N The Hood" Singleton is gearing up for next summer.

Each of these shows was a beloved staple of my childhood television watching, and I think that it's impossible for a film based on a cherished TV series to live up to the expectations of the general movie-going audience. This was not the case with "Get Smart." I have never seen a single episode of the '60s TV show, and as a result, I loved the movie. To be fair, I have seen the early '80s Get Smart movie, "The Nude Bomb," so I am familiar with the show's premise.

The casting was great. Steve Carell was the perfect choice to replace the late, great Don Adams. Anne Hathaway as Agent 99; Dwayne "don't call me 'The Rock' anymore" Johnson as Agent 23; Alan Arkin as the Chief and Bill Murray in a hilarious cameo appearance as Agent 13, round out the stellar cast and all are comedic excellence in their own right.

The story centers on Control, a supersecret government spy agency, battling the forces of Kaos. Maxwell Smart, an analyst for Control, longs for the day when he can get promoted to field agent. He has taken the field agent test eight times and has never been promoted, due to office politics. But as luck would have it, Kaos attacks Control and all of the field agent's identities are compromised. So of course Max is promoted to agent and assigned as partner to Agent 99, who just returned from a plastic-surgery-operation because her identity was compromised in the past.

The film walks a superfine line between being an out and out slapstick comedy, and an honest-to-god action film. And I must say, it walks the line well. There were times that I was laughing so hard, it was hard to follow the action or chase sequences. Not that I am complaining, mind you. I'd take a funny joke over an action sequence any day of the week. If you are in the mood to see a good action movie, then "Get Smart" is the film for you. If you are in the mood to laugh until you cry, then this A+ adaptation is also the movie you should see this weekend.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: