Friday, May 26





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MovieMojo

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CAPTION: With shoe in-hand, Maxwell Smart, makes the call that saves the world from KAOS.



Carell, Get Smart pay homage to the past

By Courtney Meyers

In homage to the 1960’s TV comedy about a bumbling, fumbling yet somehow effective Cold War spy, Get Smart, starring Steve Carell (The Office) as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) as Agent 99, bring family fun and humor to this throw-back but not throw-away spy comedy. With the original creators, Mel Brooks and Buck Henry consulting on the project, Get Smart pays tribute to the television series with gadgets like the Cone-of-Silence and rotary shoe-phone, but uses modern settings and costumes for this Bond farce.

Maxwell Smart, originally played on NBC-TV by Don Adams, is inept as ever. From scrambling to get through the series of vault doors that led to CONTROL Headquarters, a CIA-like agency, to driving the chief played by Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) crazy. Carell gives a performance worthy of his predecessor and Hathaway equally lives up to Barbara Feldons’ sultry portrayal of Smart’s love interest, Agent 99, who always saves the day. Also notable to fans of the show was Bill Murray’s (Lost in Translation) cameo as Agent 13, the one always hiding in a bizarre location — this time a tree.

Get Smart brings back the original Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union, but gives it a modern twist with a satire that places the U.S. Vice President in control while the President bike rides and reads to a kindergarten class in a time of crisis. The film also references Stanley Kubrick’s war room and the fight within from Dr. Strangelove. Other retro referrals include Smart’s red Sunbeam Tiger convertible, the tech guys that never can get their gadgets right, and Smart unable to operate the gadgets they give him. In fact, Smart spends much of the film shooting himself in the face with pocket knife/crossbow/flame thrower.

The film hinges on a love triangle between Smart, Agent 99 and Agent 23 played by Dwayne Johnson(The Game Plan, Gridiron Gang). It culminates with a rush to save the world from a nuclear destruction plot contrived by the arch-villain played by Terence Stamp (Superman II).

In all, the film directed by Peter Segal (50 First Dates) was an acknowledgment of the brilliance of the Brooks, Henry original, astutely cast with just enough memorabilia to satisfy the old fans.

I give Get Smart an ‘A-.’

Mojo Approved



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