Friday, October 31, 2008

Get Smart DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Disappointing Screen Adaptation of Spy Sitcom Arrives on DVD

Get Smart (1965-1970) was a sidesplitting TV sitcom which was essentially a spoof of James Bond. The show starred the late Don Adams as the bumbling Maxwell Smart, aka Agent 86, and Barbara Feldon as his sultry sidekick, 99. As spies for CONTROL, a CIA-style government agency, their weekly mission was to protect the Free World from their evil, Cold War counterparts working for KAOS.
Here, Steve Carrell plays Max opposite Anne Hathaway as 99 in a two-hour waste of time with fewer laughs than any half-hour episode of the original television series. Inexplicably, the over-the-top television parody has been turned into a dramatic adventure with only intermittent comic relief.
Yes, Smart still employs stock catchphrases such as “Missed it by that much” and “Would you believe…?” periodically, and he also has some of the old gadgetry at his disposal, like the confounding Cone of Silence. In addition, many beloved characters have also been brought back, including The Chief (Alan Arkin), Agent Larabee (David Koechner), stowaway specialist Agent 13 (Bill Murray), Hymie the Robot (Patrick Warburton), and KAOS villains Siegfried (Terrence Stamp) and Shtarker (Ken Davitian). Notable cast additions include The Rock as Agent 23, Terry Crews as Agent 91, James Caan as the President of the United States,
However, because this version places more of an emphasis on action and special effects than on humor, the jokes are few and far between, a fact likely to infuriate the franchise’s diehard fans. Another irritation is the profanity and off color content which will undoubtedly seem inappropriate to anyone familiar with the source material. But the film’s biggest failing is that Steve Carrell doesn’t even try to deliver his lines with the same pithy pizzazz which made Adams’ embodiment of the character so memorable.
Final report card: Get Smart got stupid.

Fair (1 star)
Rated PG-13 for violence, profanity and crude humor.
In English and Russian with subtitles.
Running time: 110 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
2-Disc DVD Extras: Alternate scenes, gag reel, digital copy, plus several additional featurettes.

To see a Get Smart trailer, visit:

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