I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Friday, June 20, 2008

Get Smart (2008)

Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is an analyst for CONTROL, a top-secret government agency. He wants to be a full-fledged agent, a desire which is mocked by agents Larabee (David Koechner) and 91 (Terry Crews). Sigfried (Terrence Stamp) stages an attack on the agency, and the identities of its agents are revealed. The Chief (Alan Arkin) then has no choice but to make Max an agent. He sends him out on assignment with competent, confident Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway).

Sigfried, backed by CONTROL's rival agency, KAOS, and assisted by Shtarker (Ken Davitan) amass a collection of destructive nuclear weapons. The goal is to hold the USA hostage. When the goverment refuses to negotiate, Sigfried sets in motion a plan to blow up Los Angeles while the President (James Caan) is visiting the city.

While not all of the gags work, the film does a nice job in attempting to convey the lunancy of the original sitcom (which ran from 1965 to 1970, first on NBC, then CBS). Carell doesn't go for an out-and-out imitation of what Don Adams did with the character. However, whoever picked him for the part was right on the money, because he's charming. Ms. Hathaway plays Agent 99 similar to how the character was on the sitcom, but with more of an modern edge. Dwayne Johnson (aka, The Rock) has fun with his role as Agent 23, a big-man-on-campus type. Arkin has one of the best lines in the film after he decks a cocky Secret Service agent who has insulted him once.

There are several nods to the original show and actors. Max has a picture of Mr. Big on his refrigerator. Mr. Big was the villian on the pilot episode of the sitcom. The phrase "The Claw" is seen written on a pad; that villian also appeared on the show. Bernie Kopell, who was the original Sigfried, and Leonard Stern, the producer of the original sitcom, both have cameos. Bill Murray is seen briefly as the put upon Agent 13. Patrick Warburton shows up as Hymie. An airplane has the name "Yarmy" on the side. Yarmy was the late Don Adams' real last name.

Steve Carell was a cast member on "The Daily Show" (1999-present), and appeared in Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Ms. Hathaway was in The Princess Diaries (2001) and a short-lived TV series entitled "Get Real" (1999-2000). Dwayne Johnson wrestled in the WWE, and has made his mark as an action star in several films including Walking Tall (2004). Alan Arkin was in Catch-22 (1970), and was an original member of The Second City, the famed Chicago-based comedy troupe. Terrence Stamp played villians in The Collector (1965) and Superman (1978).
James Caan, who plays the President, was in "To Sire, With Love" a two-part episode of "Get Smart". He is best known for the role of Sonny, Don Corelone's violent son in The Godfather (1972).

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Anonymous patrick said...

Get Smart looks okay over all though Steve Carell seems to be veering more and more toward not so funny slapstick humor

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 5:58:00 PM  

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