Entertainment Today and Beyond

Never Met a Zombi I Didn’t Like…

Get Smart

Get SmartWarner Bros got a solid 39 mill opening for their big screen version of the classic TV show GET SMART over the weekend.  I must say I’m curious how moviegoers will react to this film but, for my money, it’s somewhat of a disappointment. First, let me say I loved the 60’s show and I remember watching it in reruns almost everyday after school on WPIX when I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn NY.

Creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, alongside comic actor Don Adams, created a program that was both funny and highly inventive. The show featured a whole host of memorable characters that were played to perfection by the entire cast and the series holds up beautifully, standing the test of time.

With that said, I think the casting in this new version is just fine. Steve Carell is likeable as always playing agent 86, Anne Hathaway is both sexy and energetic as Agent 99 and Alan Arkin does a nice job filling the shoes of the late Edward Platt as the Chief of CONTROL. So what’s the problem? Well, the script and overall plot are thinner than Calista Flockhart turned sideways, and most of the jokes just fall flat. The direction by Peter Segel (Anger Management) is pretty uninspired and the entire production has a mediocre feel throughout its 2 hour running time. It’s never really bad, but it’s never really good either.
Get Smart 99-86

From a creative standpoint, it appears both director Segel and star Carell made a choice not to ape the Don Adams interpretation of the character and he’s played in this version as a bit smarter and not as clumsy. This, in my opinion, was a mistake, although his chemistry with Hathaway is solid. On the flip side, actor Terence Stamp (Superman 2) is wasted in the totally underwritten role of Siegfried, the head of KAOS. A new character, Agent 23, was created to put Dwayne Johnson in the film but I would have liked to see the classic Hymie character used in a sizable way, and not just as a thrown in at the stories conclusion. 

I have no doubt that a much better installment can be made using the same cast. I would change the director and get a screenwriter who really understands what made the source material work so well. Bottom line – despite a few decent moments and the potential for better things to come in a possible sequel, it just isn’t good enough to recommend going to the theater to see.  Watch Get Smart Preview

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June 23, 2008 - Posted by | Reviews | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. You got to be kidding!
    The movie was great and funny.

    I was always impressed with your comments on the Doug Stephan radio show – but after reading this review and others — I am wondering about your taste or maybe you are a little too full of yourself and feel the need to trash others work to feel selfimportant.

    Thank-you for your thoughts — I do not agree!

    Comment by tblandin | June 24, 2008 | Reply


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