Get Smart Reviews
(Full review coming soon - with better wording probably)
Get Smart is a great film, and at the time I am reviewing it I have watched it at least ten times. The effect of the humour decreases after you've seen it as much as I have, but still to this day it remains funny.
Although the premise in Get Smart is rather thin and the story seems a bit ridiculous, the fact is that the film is terrific. Riding the skilful direction of Peter Segal, Get Smart goes in a different direction to the original television series so that it still maintains the same level of success but follows a different style. The comedy in the film adaptation of Get Smart is significantly different to the style of humour that Mel Brooks is known for. The humour is more legitimate and the film is so sophisticated in dealing with it that it is easy to take the film seriously. So Get Smart is able to succeed as a legitimate spy film and a parody of one at the same time. It's hard to find that kind of balance and especially challenging when adapting a popular television series into a film, but thanks to Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember's script combined with Peter Segal's direction, it manages to stand out on its own as a film which adopts many of the principles and themes of the original without being a direct copy of it.
The script in Get Smart is great because although some of the jokes aren't as funny as they want to be, it is able to incorporate in a consistent level of laughs which range from physical gags to simply clever anecdotes about the situations as well as references to jokes from the original television series which means that it supplies a touch of nostalgia while bringing in the laughs. There are a few occasional trips down memory lane in Get Smart, with one of them being Bill Murray's funny cameo, and the same goes for Bernie Kopell. So as a whole, Get Smart is able to remind viewers of the strength of the original series while bringing plenty of laughs on board to entertain viewers. And all the humour is spread out well over the course of the 110 minute running time as the film manages to pace itself well. Frankly, Get Smart is a very entertaining film which combines a hilarious script with a lot of good physical gags which renders it hilarious on a consistent basis.
Visually, Get Smart is great. In terms of being a spy film, it captures some great action necessary for one. The action scenes manage to combine some entertaining moments with some exhilarating scenes depicting car chases and skydiving. While perhaps there isn't enough shooting for a spy film, the action was impressive and had a quantity high enough to please. And they used it as a source of a lot of good slapstick gags as well. Get Smart is able to incorporate a lot of physical humour into the story, and combining nice scenery with skilful cinematography and well timed editing against the backdrop of a powerful soundtrack, Get Smart manages to be a technical success in many areas.
But the driving force behind Get Smart being a good film can be based entirely around the quality of Steve Carell's leading performance in the role of Agent 86, Maxwell Smart.
Steve Carell is a perfect casting decision in Get Smart. Instead of even trying to mimic Don Adams' performance in the role, he allows his natural socially awkward persona to take over and it seriously plays off. He uses the same level of awkwardness he puts into all his best comic performances ranging from The Office to Bruce Almighty, and yet he elevates it further by playing a more competent and confident figure this time around. So he is easily likable in the role as well as thoroughly convincing. But more importantly, he is seriously hilarious in the part. He is no Don Adams, but the way that he takes on the part reveals that he doesn't need to be because he is so entertaining and funny in the role. He delivers all of his lines with confidence as if he has gone through them a hundred times in his head, and he manages to use it to his advantage by pushing his natural persona through the story and going over the top at some times to serious comic benefit. He manages to supply a lot of hilarious charisma to the role of Maxwell Smart and there is not a second where he trips up. Steve Carell embodies his leading role in Get Smart excellently, and he is purely immaculate in Get Smart.
Anne Hathaway makes an excellent duo with Steve Carell. Although her performance is not there for the humour, some good jokes come off of the chemistry that they share. Disregarding that, Anne Hathaway manages to turn in a confident and sophisticated performance where she delivers her lines with a powerful understanding of everything she says and a subtle touch of sex appeal in some parts. Anne Hathaway manages to make the spy theme of the film feel more legitimate as it progresses. Anne Hathaway is a great lead in Get Smart and a fine duo with Steve Carell.
Alan Arkin is great in Get Smart. He manages to bring a good level of wisdom to the film which makes him befitting to the role of being head of Control. He manages to put his natural comedic persona into the part as well and share a grand chemistry with Steve Carell once again after his Academy Award winning performance in Little Miss Sunshine. His line delivery is dead on with comic energy, and so he turns in a powerful supporting effort.
Dwayne Johnson makes a decent supporting presence as well.
Terry Crews and David Koechner make some humour supporting efforts as well. Terrence Stamp makes a firm antagonist, and Ken Davitian is a hilarious touch.
Lastly, James Caan's small cameo is great simply because he steps into the role of the President of the United States easily and he has a really good comedic moment at the end of the film, so he proves to be a genial presence.
So thanks to a powerful cast led by a marvellous performance from Steve Carell, a hilarious script and tight direction from Peter Segal, Get Smart manages to be a gleefully entertaining spy comedy which makes up for a thin story with a lot of comic energy which makes it a good remake of the television series of the same name.
Steve carell provides the laughs
I vaguely remember bits of that TV series, such as the opening walk along the corridor to the phone box (replicated here), the 'cone of silence' (also in the film) and Maxwell Smarts shoe telephone (also also here!).
None of that background, however, is essential to watching this film, which I found to be enjoyable enough but nothing special