Directed by Peter Segal.
Written by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember.
Starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Alan Arkin and Dwayne
Release Year: 2008
Review Date: 7/2/08
the TV show, the movie version of "Get Smart" is mildly funny, but
generally, not very good. This is interesting, mainly because
I am one of six Americans in my age bracket who regularly watched
reruns of this show while hangin' out at my babysitter's house back
in the day...and, even then, I remember thinking that the original
show wasn't very good.
This was lost on those Hollywood types who
believe that every product is worth bringing back to the silver
screen...truth be told, "Alvin and the Chipmunks" wasn't that great
growing up either, but the movie version of that TV show made
hundreds of millions of bucks...then,
did not. It's a fun guessing game to play, but "Get Smart"
plays a version of the game that starts slow, has zero chemistry
between our leads (could it be the 15-year age difference?
Carell's lack of leading man qualities that work in straight
comedies but not action-comedies? Hathaway's blindingly-white
skin?), features action scenes with the wrong action stars (The Rock
is in this film, but is featured is roughly none of the action
sequences...odd), and features large, LARGE stretches of classic
suspension of disbelief...cue the scene where a seven-foot-tall
assassin falls from a plane all the way into a pig at a
farmhouse...gets up, and walks away.
"Get Smart" does have three or four very
funny scenes, but they come so sporadically (and after such a slow,
unfunny first 20 minutes) that they appear to be aberrations, almost
as if they don't belong with the rest of this movie. Carell's
Maxwell Smart is as deadpan and as sarcastic as I remember Don Adams
being back in the day, but that doesn't work very well here, and I
still don't know why. A heavy balance on action here also
doesn't work...Smart goes from analyst to shoot-baddies-on-the-run
proficient about mid-way through his first field mission, and I
would have been fine with Smart not shooting anybody at all.
What can I say? If you let the guy
that directed the atrocious
Dates" direct your movie (and, it's certain that director Peter
Segal is getting worse, since he did the cult classic "Tommy Boy"
more than a dozen years ago), this is what you get. And, for
Carell, this continues to solidify the opinion that he is better as
an ensemble player, where he worked wonders in both
40-Year-Old Virgin" and
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard