Saving the world...and loving it.
Get Smart is a 2008 comedy film directed by Peter Segal, written by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember, produced by Village Roadshow Pictures, Mosaic Media Group, Mad Chance, Callahan Fireworks, and Atlas Entertainment, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is based on the 1965 TV series, Get Smart. It stars Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway. The film was not nominated for any Academy Awards.
"Holy sh*t, holy sh*t, a swordfish almost went through my head." -The Chief
CONTROL analyst Maxwell Smart has always dreamed of becoming a field agent. When an attack destroys CONTROL headquarters, Smart achieves that dream and joins Agent 99, an elite field agent who doesn't find Max amazing. Together though, they create a bond and follow a mission to stop the evil chief of an organization called KAOS from taking over the world by nuclear missiles.
I think that the biggest thing here is the acting. Pretty much everybody in this film is funny or at least good. Steve Carell really carries this on his back, bringing some clear Michael Scott into Max Smart. He is very likable and funny, but also a smart and good person, although dumb at certain points. Anne Hathaway is also pretty good. She has a good transition from being super annoyed with Max to being in love with him. The Rock is very charming, even though he isn't in much of it. He loves being the popular jock, and really shows that off in this performance. Alan Arkin has the funniest line in the film, which is usually him throughout the film. Terence Stamp is very conniving, which makes him good as the villain.
About half of the jokes in the movie land. When they land, they evoke a laugh. It is pretty funny when Steve Carell says something super dumb, or when The Rock is having a sexy moment and then crashes into a wall. The jokes are so random and absolutely ridiculous that it makes the movie funny when it wants to be.
The chemistry between Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway works really well. They were very likable on screen together, and that makes it very fun to watch them become close and eventually start dating.
The final sequence is pretty fun. It is somewhat comedic, but also tries to be a moment that would actually happen in a 007 or Mission: Impossible movie. That part of the spy parody works well enough for me.
The biggest thing is the ambition for this film. It tries to be a funny parody of spy movies...while also trying to be a serious spy movie itself (sometimes). That doesn't really work well. It makes the movie just constantly feel like an uneven balance of ingredients. The tone is very inconsistent. The movie feels like ice cream mixed with ketchup. Just two things that can't work together.
The story is a complete mess. Like I said, it tries to be a spy parody but have a serious plot. It gets to detailed for a comedy. Other comedies that I thought were really funny, such as Anchorman or Airplane! don't have serious storylines that they dive very deep into. Anchorman is about a local news anchor and Airplane! is about a plane of people. That is literally how the movies can be described. Get Smart is just too complex and takes itself too seriously to reach that level.
Some of the jokes really don't land. There are parts that are clearly shots at being funny, and they just aren't. Some of Max Smart's lines are funny, but there are also some that are just stupid and not funny at all.
The film also makes its characters too serious to be funny. In movies that are really funny, none of the characters actually act like real people. They say things and do things that are absolutely ridiculous and unrealistic, but these characters sometimes feel too grounded, serious and realistic for a spy parody.
This is a bit of a nitpick, but I really don't like David Koechner in anything that he's in. He's just an annoyance in this film. He plays the same kind of character every time, and it is just bad. He is not likable or funny, and just a waste of a character.
The movie is funny and has good acting, but takes itself way too seriously, lessening the comedy and enjoyment of the film.
I will give it a Sour rating. Age range is 7+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Fun Factor: 7/10
Characters: 5/10 Quality: 6/10
WHERE TO WATCH
HBO Max: Available with subscription
Amazon Prime Video: Available for rent
Apple TV+: Available for rent
Directed by Peter Segal
Released on June 20, 2008
Rated PG-13 for sexual content, minor violence, and language
1 hour and 50 minutes
Steve Carrell as Maxwell Smart
Anne Hathaway as Agent 99
Dwayne Johnson as Agnet 23
Alan Arkin as The Chief
Terence Stamp as Siegfried
Terry Crews as Agent 91
David Koechner as Larabee
James Caan as The President
Bill Murray as Agent 13