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Get Smart review
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7/3/2008 7:56 PM
    Remaking or ‘re-imaging’ is a true hit or miss prospect. For years Hollywood and television has been taking classic shows and either bringing them to the big screen with varying success or back to the little screen, with again, varying degrees of success.
    Take The Beverly HillBillies or Brady Bunch. Both didn’t do too bad in at the theatre, and one even got a sequel that was released to the theatres.
    Now, take Television… Battlestar Galactica was re-imagined. Fans of the classic series were fairly divided… some hated the new look, others, like myself, loved it and found it superior in every way.
    So, once again, taking a classic show and putting it on the big screen or re-imagining it can go both ways, and those were just a couple of minor examples.
    Now, we have the classic spy spoof from the sixties – Get Smart – brought to the big screen. I won’t deny it… when I first heard about it several months ago, I wasn’t all that interested in the movie.
    Fact of the matter is that I was actually pretty tired of Hollywood going back to the small screen for inspiration.
    Then I heard that Steve Carell was involved, and that immediately piqued my interest. I really enjoyed the 40 Year Old Virgin and I began to see some hope for this remake.
    I’ll get right to the point now.
    Get Smart was a great movie! It wasn’t just a remake of the classic series, it was a film lovingly faithful to the series! Although, truth be told, I did have one complaint about it and I’ll get to that later.
    Sure, the characters were changed ever so slightly, well in the case of Maxwell Smart and the Chief. Ah, to heck with it… and 99. She was the only complaint I had about the movie.
    See, Maxwell Smart was a little different than the role made famous by Don Adams. I can’t tell you of the differences as it would constitute spoilers, and that is something I am loath to do, with one exception which I’ll talk about in a moment.
    But, it was as if Steve Carell had intimate knowledge of the character. He WAS Maxwell Smart. Albeit a little more competent, but he knew all the mannerisms of the character and it was pure joy to hear him utter the same kinds of catch phrases that were iconic to the original series.
    My major complaint about the movie was Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Agent 99. I remember from the series that she was always competent and very tolerant and sweet towards Max.
    Sure, this new version of 99 was even more competent, but I found her to be very grating and down right nasty in comparison. This did change towards the end of the movie though, but still I would have much preferred her character to be more like the original 99 played by Barbara Feldon.
    Ok, that was the only real spoiler in the whole review.
    Now, the supporting cast was perfect! Dwayne Johnson as Agent 23 brought a tough and debonair character to the screen, although he came off as, dare I say, pure comic genius in a couple of the scenes. I won’t go into detail, but one particular scene was shown in the trailer, and on the small screen and even after knowing it was coming, it still made me laugh.
    Alan Arkin played the Chief and his acting was beautifully suited for the role. He didn’t come across quite as impatient as the original Chief, and he held his own in a couple of scenes, particularly in one where he was dealing with government red tape.
    Another familiar face was that of Masi Oka, probably better known as his role as Hiro Nakamura from the series Heroes. His role, I hate to say it, was pretty much cast stereotype for the actor. On a side note, he and Nate Torrance have a direct to video movie called Out of Control, which stars the characters they both portrayed in the film.
    There were a couple of important cameos as well… Bill Murray, and the original Siegfried, as well as Patrick Warburton. You’ll enjoy all these cameos, but be warned, unless your familiar with the original series, you’ll totally miss Siegfried’s cameo.
    The movie, thankfully, was very faithful to the original series, and it had far more laughs than I had honestly expected.
    Fans of the old series will fall in love with the movie. Even those who have never seen the original will enjoy it.
    4.5 out of 5
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