Thanks to Steve Carrell, Anne Hathaway and some really funny material, "Get Smart" is one of the more pleasant surprises of the year. From "Bewitched" to "The Flintstones" to "Car 54 Where Are You?" some of the worst movies I’ve ever seen have been adaptations of TV shows from the Sixties. "Get Smart" is the happy exception to that rule. Steve
Carrell’s Maxwell Smart strikes just the right balance between utter buffoon and resourceful secret agent. He’s enough of a dope for us to laugh at him, but enough of a likable guy for us to root for him.
Anne Hathaway has gone from ingénue to utter knockout. She displays some pretty good comedic timing as Agent 99. We also get some nice work from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Agent 23, and Alan Arkin as the Chief.
"Get Smart" pays tribute to the Cold War origins of the TV show while creating a whole new spoof-universe for the characters. It even works as an action thriller, with some impressive stunt work and special effects.
Mostly though, it’s funny as hell. So many of the set-ups and sight gags would fall flat in less skilled hands. But director Peter Segal and screenwriters Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember provide a clever comedic blueprint. And the talented cast nails nearly every joke. I even believed the romance between Max and 99.