Get Smart is a funny movie. In a world overpopulated by idiocy and slapstick, Get smart is a breath of fresh air. As a society I fear we are losing our sense of humor, falling prey to the lowest common denominator, but surprisingly in this remake of an old TV show hope is reborn.
I’m going to be honest, I loved the old show, I used to watch reruns of it all the time. The notion of a movie version worried me but then they cast Steve Carell and I realized that he would in fact be a fantastic Max Smart. And that’s the thing, while they have updated the story for modern times, they do not reject the past. They embrace it, showcase it, and use it as fuel. Shoe Phone? No, that’s not silly; it’s on display for the public to see its brilliance. As the movie begins we see a tour of these exhibits, the guide pointing out the devices and telling the people how this old group is defunct and useless now; Carell as Smart smirks and then goes into his secret headquarters to save the world.
Careel plays the roll perfectly, both imitating Don Adams but also bringing his own traits to the role. He bumbles from time to time, but he is also clever and possesses many skills that work in ways we might not expect. It’s funny, and his desire to be the best around ends up making him an odd duck. The point is, the character is humorous, but still highly skilled, during a paintball match his ‘betters’ mock him and he quickly shoots one in a sensitive area. It’s played for laughs, but it’s also a difficult shot.
He is also surrounded by other wonderful characters and actors. Anne Hathaway is a fantastic foil, having a good balance of attraction/annoyance/and sarcasm. The only problem with the casting is that several characters almost steal the show, Dwayne Johnson as Agent 23 is the superstar of CONTROL, but is not above humility and being the butt of a joke; his intro to the movie is one of my favorite moments ever. Above even him is Alan Arkin who steals the whole movie for me, using both subtle moments and overtly physical comedy.
Get Smart is not the best movie ever, or even the funniest, but it is really good. It features good actors acting well; the dynamic works and you get a really good feeling while watching it. It gets a 4/5