Friday, June 05, 2009

Get Smart

What a delightful surprise the modernized, updated Get Smart proved to be. As someone who worshipped the original series as a kid, and was utterly disappointed by the tone-deaf, unfunny The Nude Bomb when I saw it in the theater, I was all ready to hate this one. But I've been really impressed by Anne Hathaway for a long time (she may well become a latter-day Audrey Hepburn), think Steve Carrell is a very smart funnyman, and absolutely worship anything Alan Arkin does. So I was willing to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.

That's not to say the movie doesn't have flaws. It falls into that same trap so many comedy/action films do, forgetting to be funny in the run up to the finale. All action, no jokes. That dragged on way too long. The great Terrence Stamp was underwhelming as Siegfried, coming across as more of a generic action villain than the hilarious bad guy from the TV series.

But they got so much right. Hathaway was a fantastic choice to play 99. She held her own onscreen. Her outfits were evocative of the original series and several times her dialogue echoed Barbara Feldon. I loved Bill Murray's cameo as Agent 13 (surprisingly, the agent only appeared in 13 episodes). The use of the shoe phone, cone of silence, Max's red Sunbeam Tiger AND blue Volkswagen Karmann Ghia from the original series, all brilliant. Bernie Kopell's cameo had me sputtering with glee, even as The Wife looked on bemused. Siegfried, who my beloved, deceased beagle Sigfreid Sebastian Bach was named after in part, only appeared in 14 or the original series' 138 episodes. Imagine that. I even called Hymie's appearance, although Patrick Walburton's cock-sure portrayal of the robot struck me as more than a little off-base.

In any event, it's one of the very best of the assorted "TV-to-film" adaptations out there. Faint praise, I know, but this one was entertaining enough, and had just the right amount of heart, to make me look forward to a sequel.

Now Playing:

1 comment:

  1. I'm starting to think that Steve Carell may be the best judge of scripts ever. Has he chosen a bad script yet?