Hathaway and Carell in Get Smart
If you're going to the theater, looking for a remake of the Get Smart you remember catching on TV back in the 1960's, you're going to be disappointed. If you're just looking to sit back and find yourself snorting with laughter, throw down your cash and pick your seat.
The newest attempt at reviving a classic TV hit falls short of its predecessor -- or as Maxwell Smart would say, it "missed it by that much". The dialog sometimes feels out of place, with the viewer seeing more Steve Carell than Maxwell Smart. Carell is wonderful as Smart but the insertion of classic lines from the show feel jammed into places they don't belong.
The banter between Carell and Agent 99's Anne Hathaway is hilarious at times. Other times it is as though they are reading lines just off camera and trying to force the funny on the audience. Hathaway pulls off another good performance as 99. She's one of those unique actresses that can pull off a sexy, tough female character and make it believable.
The flick is peppered with wonderful performances from Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, Alan Arkin, Nate Torrence and Masi Oka. The one character I was really letdown by was Siegfried played by Terence Stamp. I'm a huge Stamp fan. I think he is one of the best villainous character actors alive. Just hearing his voice is enough to normally send chills down my spine. In Smart, his character is as two dimensional as the paper it was written upon, never shaping into anything more than a stale stereotype.
All right, enough with the bad.
Smart had me laughing out loud so many times it was startling. Normally I'm a chuckle kind of a guy, but there are scenes in this movie that had me rolling. The two bathroom scenes and the jet scene toward the end of the movie are almost guaranteed laughs. Even with the poor dialog at times, Carell and Hathaway are pleasant, keeping the audience engaged in the story long enough to care about the outcome. Hathaway even flexes her dramatic skills for a few brief moments.
Arkin again proves to be a scene-stealer, getting laughs at almost every turn. One word -- swordfish. You'll see what I mean.
I would recommend snatching some extra napkins at the snack bar before entering the theater. You might need them to wipe the spewed soda off the seat in front of you.
Final Cut: Smart lacks the charm of the original TV series and trips over itself at times throughout the flick but when the hysterics come, it's well worth the wait. I give it three-out-of-four stars.