Get Smart Review

Get-Smart-ReviewThanks for checking out our Get Smart Review. There is no video version of the Get Smart review, but we will discuss it in an upcoming podcast.
Right from the beginning I was excited about the news that there would be a Get Smart movie. Get Smart was one of those old TV shows that was in heavy re-runs when I was a kids, so I used to watch it all the time right after The Flinstons on my lunch break from school (I lived really close to the school). When the word came down that Steve Carell had been given the responsibility of filling the mighty shoes of Don Adams, I was ecstatic! The phrase “perfect casting” is thrown around way too often, but this is a situation where it applied pretty well. Hearing Anne Hathaway is in something is never bad news… add recent Oscar winner Alan Arkin, Dwaye “no longer The Rock” Johnson, Terence Stamp and Ken Davitian… you’ve got a very nice little line up.

Sadly, the trailers and various promotions for Get Smart didn’t inspire a lot of hope… so how did it turn out? Meh, not as bad as I thought, but certainly no where near as good as I had hoped.


The synopsis for Get Smart looks something like this: “Bungling secret agent Maxwell Smart, also known as Agent 86 for CONTROL, is on a mission to battle the forces of their evil crime nemesis known as KAOS with his more-competent partner Agent 99, (whose real name is never revealed) at his side. When the headquarters of U.S. spy agency Control is attacked and the identities of its agents compromised, the Chief has no choice but to promote his ever-eager analyst Maxwell Smart, who has always dreams of working in the field alongside stalwart superstar Agent 23. Smart will do whatever it takes to thwart the latest plot for world domination by KAOS.”


Damn. Yay I say again unto thee… DDDAAMMMNNN Anne Hathaway is HOT! No, strike that… she’s beyond that level of hotness for which we haven’t yet come up with a word for. Playing agent 99, Hathaway needed to play a stunningly, and disarmingly beautiful woman… and wow, yeah… just yeah. I’ve never seen her look better, or come across and more flat out shockingly beautiful and sexy than she does in Get Smart. Surprisingly enough she also seemed to play light spoof comedy quite well. I’m sorry, but I’m still distracted by how good she looked in this film.

The movie did a solid job of paying homage to much of the things and spirt of the original show. The use of a shoe phone was especially good. It’s a special challenge to take a show from the 60’s and turn it into a modern film while still maintaning the essence and feel of the original. Get Smart accomplishes this and that fact alone almost made the film worth the time and effort to see.

Steve Carell was born to play this role. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he completely knocked it out of the park or anything, but he IS Maxwell Smart almost every bit as Don Adams was. He played smart perfectly, without ever making it seem like he was trying to be Don Adams at the same time. I don’t know how he did that… but he did. His timing and character carry much of the movie for most of the run time.

The film was “cute”. That’s not a bad thing. When you do a movie like Get Smart, it’s actually got to be “cute” in places if it’s going to be loyal to the original material, and it did. Sadly it wasn’t nearly as hilarious (I’ll get to that in just a minute) but it was indeed certainly cute in places and put a grin on your face.

All the cast did a fine job… not spectacular, but solid. Stamp, Arkin, Davitian, The Great Khalli (monster WWE wrestler who was also in Adam Sandler’s The Longest Yard”) all get a passing grade… but I gotta say Dwayne Johnson was the strongest of them. I honestly don’t know how good of an actor he’ll eventually be, but the man has so much frigging damn charm and charisma that it almost doesn’t matter. He could play these kind of roles for the rest of his career and he’d do just fine.

There’s a really great sky diving action scene in the film that I just loved. I won’t give anything away, but watch for it if you see the movie.


I’ve said this many many many times but it needs to be repeated here. One of the things you totally MUST have to make a comedy work is laughs. While Get Smart has a few here and there scattered throughout the film, sadly it doesn’t have nearly enough to honor its namesake or to make it a worthwhile time at the movies. Yes, the film is cute. Yes the movie pays proper tribute to the original…. but as a motion picture at some point it has to stand on its own two proverbial feet and make us LAUGH. Get Smart failed to do that enough and sadly that ends up being the biggest impression that stuck in my mind as I walked out of the theater. Despite all the good things I can say about Get Smart, this is the most important part it needed to nail. And it didn’t.


A great idea for a film with a very solid cast, a wonderful sense of tribute paid to the original, cute and simple… yet sadly Get Smart ultimately fails because despite succeeding on so many levels, as a comedy it stumbled on the most important one… COMEDY. Just simply not enough of it, and the stuff that was there just wasn’t quality enough. And as a comedy, at that end of the day nothing else matters if that’s not there first. Certainly not a “bad” movie, but it should have been much much better, especially when you consider how many other quality elements (that a lot of other comedies miss) were in place. Overall, I give Get Smart a 5 out of 10.

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54 thoughts on “Get Smart Review

  1. Being a child of the 60’s Get Smart was one of my favorite shows. This version doesn’t pass muster. I understand that when recreating characters actors try not to do out and out impersonations of the original. However, it would have done Carell good to watch a few more episodes of the initial tv shows. Don Addams was a master at comic timing and delivery. He had a self assuring swagger which at times backfired on him when he tried to be too witty. This is what’s missing in “Get Smart 2008”. Carell has some good moments that made me chuckle a few times. Yet i found myself saying “now Addams would have delivered the line this way”. Anne Hathaway was great as 99. She did justice to the role that Barbara Feldon originated.

    Alan Arkin was good as the chief. Terrence Stamp’s Siegfried was way off base. Bernie Kopell’s Siegfried was one of the funniest characters in the original Get Smart. Where was the German accent? Are these times so politically correct that the producers were afraid to use it? One of Siegfried’s all time favorite lines was when he was berating his hench men for screwing up. He says “you fools, imcompetence, bunglers, dumkopfs, Sissies!…if Maxwell Smart is not killed within 48 hours the annual Kaos bingo party and barbecue is cancelled”! Kopell delivers these lines with a flawless and hilarious German accent. [] If this line was uttered i definetly missed it.

    It’s hard for me to believe that the creators of Get Smart, Mel Brooks and Buck Henry were consultants. All in all though, from the parts i did enjoy, the movie was at times quite entertaining. If there is a sequel, i would hope that there is a little more sarcastic bite to Steve Carells character.

  2. what the hell you talkin bout frodo?! this movie sucks monster ccock, deep 10 inches of it! no funny parts at all to the movie. dont see it. come over an suck mine instead!!!

  3. I just saw this movie today and it was great. I agree the cast was awesome!!! This is by far the best movie I have seen all year. True it had its moments where it did not keep you laughing however the pause between jokes was still ok. (hey you gotta catch your breath sometime) I read in one review that they did not consult the original material writers however if you have watched the original “Get Smart” you would know it was writen by Mel Brooks and if you watch the credits at the end of the new “Get Smart” guess whos name is first. You guessed it Mel Brooks. It helps to know who the creaters were to know the DID get credit for consultants on the film. Sorry but it helps to know the facts. :)

  4. I just saw the movie in spanish. I live in Mexico.
    The used the same actor that use to give Maxwell Smart his voice in spanish: Jorge Arvizu “El Tata”, he’s like 80 now.
    And I have to tell you, It was magnificent . I honestly doubt that the movie is as funny in english (and I love Steve Carrell). El Tata improvisation elevated this film to classic and is a testament to the geniality of a living comedy legend.

  5. I saw it recently “and loving it” still. I’m 27 and grew up avidly watching every single episode and have recently bought all the DVD’s. I still can’t get enough of Don Adams (Get smart) and i think steve did really well. RIP DON

  6. i just saw the movie last night and thought it was okay. it wasn’t as funny as i thought it would be, but had a lot more action than i thought it would. overall it was good. the story line was really catchy. i really liked it even though it wasn’t what i thought it would be.

  7. OH, one more thing. Are you people trying to hate on this movie? My guess is absolutely! I know ur all over 60 years of age and you no longer find anything funny except the noises u make when you gurgle. This movie was great and you people are literally hating on a movie and making it seem like SHIT! And it was not shit, it was teh SHIT! (That means it kicks absolute ass!) I’m but 14 years old and this was one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. Stop being a critic, go back to mouthwash. Goodnight!

  8. SO u dare to say get smart lacked comedy? Are U serious? We’ll put u in a movie, see how u like it and try to get some laughs without doing it the love guru way. Kicking someone in the ballz and then trying to laugh about it. No, they actually made the movie funny in non perverted ways. I’m sorry that u don’t nececcarily get “turned on” by this. Until u look for more porn,


  9. Those who didn’t like the movie, you all are horibly boring one’s, this movie is one of the best comedies that hit the screen in, at least, two years !!!

  10. Saw it today.

    Yes, I grew up with the series.

    No, I don’t believe that ‘source material’ is sacrosanct. (And I’d definitely love to smack around some of the whiners who clearly don’t have a clue about the process, the business; they’re too busy being burrito-chawin’ fanboys.)

    And yes, it did tank.

    It was, in two words, a waste.
    A waste of intent. A waste of talent. A waste of money.
    And for me, a matinée moviegoer, a waste of my time, too.
    Comedy is a tough fucker to bring to the screen.
    But ya know; a funny story is much more satisfying than a bunch of funny bits strung together. (Especially when the string breaks early on.)

    I won’t blame the actors.
    I can blame the director a bit. (John, this might be the best current example of a director not making the most of schtick provided him…)
    But most of all, I blame the script. Or, more accurately, the executive that green-lighted this production, as fueled by the screenplay. Ugh.

    So sad, so very sad.

  11. too many people are tearing it apart piece by piece. Along with several of the people who responded positively…it was hilarious! We went to a Sunday matinee, the house was full, and everyone laughed out loud (LOL) at all the appropriate moments. I was a fan of Get Smart in the 60’s, and the remake turned out to be worth my while. One of the best in a very long time!!

  12. I really did fall alseep in the theater my bf woke me up and we both left…lol …it was ok, i guess… i kind of wish i would have saved my 10 dollars and just watched the funny parts on the previews for free…

    just being honest

  13. Last night, the local news came on and reported that the new movie, “Get Smart” took in like 49 million dollars over the weekend. My wife and I looked at each other in disbelief. My question is…..with gas and food prices the way they are today, who the hell has 10 dollars (per ticket) to throw away on the crap Hollywood puts in the Theatres these days!? Two tickets with popcorn and a drink is going to cost you at least 30 dollars. To see…..”Get Smart”?

  14. I don’t get why Hulk dropped 60% since this one is better liked. I’m guessing Hulk will make maybe 140-150 million in the end. That isn’t much more than the original Hulk (130 million). But i’m guessing the studio will still put on production for a Hulk sequel.

    As for Mike Myer’s Love Guru, I thought it was going to come in at #2 since the commercials were more funny than other crappy comedies (Meet the Spartans, Date Movie). And Love Guru had more commercials and ads everywhere.

    Kung-Fu Panda was a surprise that it jumped up 1 spot, but it’s not surprising since it is getting positive reviews and good word of mouth is building up.

  15. Good job PADTHAI, I was clearly let down by the public on this one…..and WOW what happened to The Hulk?

    Joseph C, nice job on Get Smart, I have the entire show on dvd and I love it. Not one bad episode.
    Can you tell me what episodes you wrote ?

    Hate the new film, btw.

  16. and look at the 60% drop for Incredible Hulk, and Kung Fu Panda jumped up 1 spot and had a 35% hold. It’s not nearly as bad as the 70% drop for Hulk though. I think this 60% drop isn’t a good sign. I didn’t expect the drop to be this big.

  17. I thought it was excellent! I hope it is only the first installment. I have to say, Anne Hathaway blows me away (figuratively, unfortunately) every time I see her on screen. I hope she sticks around for awhile.

  18. so it seems like if you were a fan of the original show, you’ll be disappointed, but if you never saw the original show, you will probably like it?

  19. John:

    I agree with most of your reviews but I think you missed it on this one. Not only did I laugh repeatedly throughout the movie, but the packed house I saw it with did also. I was not expecting much going into this one because it had been panned in many of the reviews I read. However, I thought is was a great summer movie. Well worth seeing. 8 out of 10, at least. Steve is the bomb.


  20. I’m not sure how relevant the comedy style this is considering today’s standards. Depends on what you’re into. Humor is a subjective thing. One must consider as well the consultants to this film. Notably, towards the end, at the beginning of the credits, Mel Brooks was among three others comedy consultant to the film. If you are a fan of his style of comedy then Get Smart shouldn’t leave you disappointed. Perhaps the movie doesn’t win you over first go. I myself didn’t laugh at Mel Brooks movies until watching them again a second time (e.g. Silent Movie). I know I can’t stop watching my downloaded iTunes promo from Get Smart. I keep laughing everytime I see Steve Carrell flipping over as he tumbles in the sky in the sky diving scene….And the pig watch for the pig…(See everyone has his or her flavor of funny).

    The acting is what it is. The action is awesome considering comedy standards. Seeing Carrell wield a firearm in a competent fashion and shoot bad guys, well, that’s friggin awesome, though I don’t think we can call this Mr. & Mrs. Smith part 2 :) wink wink. Speaking of his other half, Anne Hathaway is great with a capital G!…

    Perhaps the first installment didn’t drop the laughing gas bomb we hoped, but if the redemption of the film by the second half of the film is any indication maybe a second installment allows room for more improvement, enough to please even the closed hearts out there who may have been disappointed with this film.

  21. Get Smart movie review
    As one of the writers of the original “Get Smart” TV series, I was dismayed by the new, flawed “Get Smart” movie–I never understood why remakes don’t at least talk to the original material writers. Maybe it’s a kind of immature tantrum, “I want to do it myself, mom.”
    That said, for the writers of the next remake, here’s a bit of advice: The essence, the fun of the Don Adams character was his child-like confidence and his bravado (not unlike the character often played by Bob Hope) presaging the inevitable catastrophic blunder. “Sorry about that.”
    Any writer charged with vetting agent 86 should start by studying the origin of the character, Don’s early nightclub routines. His defense attorney bit: “Look at those trim ankles, the well turned calf. Now I ask you. Are those the legs of a homicidal maniac?”
    Joseph C. Cavella

  22. i haven’t seen it yet
    but about Anne Hathaway i have to say that to me she is nowhere near the word of “HOT”
    she is just this ugly & thin bad actress that sucks really badly in everything i saw her since i can remember

  23. Get Smart bored me to the point that I actually fell asleep in the theatre– a feat that hasn’t happened since I was talked into seeing Stardust by my significant other (at the time).

    Until late in the movie, Maxwell Smart seemed to have no relation to the original character, other than by name. There obviously would have been some comparison to Austin Powers if the movie were set in the 60s/70s instead, but I think that much of the humor and charm of the original show wouldn’t have been lost. Instead, you have a few cameos from the original actors and lines thrown in as an homage (done almost as an afterthought) in order to modernize it. Why?

    The biggest problem was that there was no real “threat” or solid conflict; Malcolm McDowell was wasted playing yet another generic villain. Without “The Claw/Craw” and more intelligent/witty dialog, this fails.

  24. “Surprisingly enough she also seemed to play light spoof comedy quite well.”
    I think this isn’t that suprising, considering her role in “The Princess Diaries” and “Ella Enchanted”, because both movies show her comedic talent and “Ella Enchanted” is a spoof, too.
    I will give it a try, when the movie opens in Germany in July (at the moment, we don’t get any blockbuster openings, because of the european soccer tournament – think Superbowl for three weeks…).

  25. The movie was hilarious! I was surprised at how many film critics knocked it! I haven’t laughed so hard at a comedy in forever! And it didn’t require bodily function jokes or anything too gross to make people laugh so hard.
    Absolutely loved it! But hey I never saw the TV show, so maybe that made it easier to laugh at!

  26. Oh, you hard hearted bastards. I laughed my ass off in this film. Don’t get so hoighty toighty. There is a reason Ebert gave it 3.5 out of 4. It does what is set out to do. And it’s funny. Period.

  27. A very enjoyable movie. I laughed a lot, and enjoyed how steve’s character and anne’s blended well. At times, the comedy was predictable but i still smiled thoroughly through the film.

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