Short version: Get Smart manages to combine slapstick, wit, action, and a bit of romance in a package that will leave you smiling even after you leave the theater.
Well I’ll be damned.
Based on the trailers and clips I’d seen, I wasn’t sure what sort of review I’d be giving Get Smart. Imagine my pleasant surprise as it opened with a laugh out loud scene and an extended nod to the original series that felt more like tribute that rip-off. It wavers a bit upon take off but once it gets going Get Smart delivers a great and fun ride.
We meet Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) and immediately figure out what sort of fellow he is: very analytic and detail oriented, a guy who lives for the fine details of analysis within the scope of his job at CONTROL. The agency is supposedly no longer in existence, thought to have faded away with the cold war, but they’re still around and competing with the CIA.
Max has always dreamed of becoming a field agent and is on his eighth attempt at passing the exam. He and other “nerds” are the butt of jokes by the some of the field agents, but they have an ally in the coolest field agent of them all: Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson).
At the start of the movie Max has never met Agent 99 (the most lovely Anne Hathaway), but when he meets her immediately rubs her the wrong way with his condescending manner. Events transpire that thrust him into the field and them on a mission together where they must track down nuclear weapons under the control of their nemesis: CHAOS. That organization is run by a man called Sigfried (played with bone-dry humor by Terrence Stamp).
Despite Max’s inexperience in the field, 99 comes to grudgingly respect his abilities. That’s not to say that he is a born super-spy of course – anyone who is even remotely familiar with the original series starring Don Adams and Barbra Feldon knows he is a well-meaning, but bumbling fellow who only manages to accomplish anything through sheer luck.