The movie misses greatness by "that much".
filmfan09 - wrote on 03/22/09
The slick new version of the 1960's classic television spy comedy 'Get Smart' is one of the better tv to film adaptions to come along in recent years. It's somewhat faithful to the original show and modernizes the premise without mocking it. You can enjoy it even if you've never seen tv series. Also the best of all - it's funny with many laugh-out-loud jokes and succeeds at being an action thriller, with many engaging stunt/adventure pieces.
Steve Carell,rebounding from 2007's box office dud 'Evan Almighty' and reminding us of the '40-year-old Vigrin' we fell in love with. Carell is a master with awkard characters (he shows us this week after week on 'The Office'), as Maxwell Smart he proves to be a perfect fit for his skills. Or maybe he's just so good that he can make ANY character seem like it was tailor made for him. Maxwell Smart is analyst at the secret government agency CONTROL. He finally gets his wish to become a field agent when headquarters is attacked and the identity of all of CONTROL's operatives are compromised and the Chief(Alan Arkin)of CONTROL must send out someone unrecognizable to defeat the evil organization KAOS.
As the newly dubbed Agent 86, Max is partnered with Agent 99(Anne Hathaway), gives 99 a little sex appeal and has brawn to match. She is safe to use because she recently had plastic surgery that altered her appearence. (The film's attempt to reduce the 20-year age difference between Hathaway and Carell - Agent 99 is actually older than she looks) Max is bumbling and often oblivious, Agent 99 is smart, highly skilled, and unwilling to put up with nonsense. Their mission? Track down Siegfried (Terence Stamp), the evil mastermind who has been obtaining nuclear materials and has evil plans for them.
It's up to Max and 99 to stop him and save the day ... provided they can learn to work together.
Hathaway and Carell are a far better comic pair than I would have imagined. What I didnt believe is the romance that inevitably develops between them, they're alot more plausible as work buddies than as lovers. For the rest of the cast, Agent 23 (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is surprisingly subtle and effective. Alan Arkin, as the chief of CONTROL turns what's essentially a one-dimensional character into a complicated, ill-tempered old person who still has the goods when the time comes. (Also keep your eyes open for plenty of inspired cameos.)I could talk about the movie's uneven plot, but why let that get in the way of having a good time?