Like Fun With Dick and Jane, this was a film that I re-watched after disliking the first time, and was generally, pleasantly surprised. Having loved the television series Get Smart, I wondered how on earth it could be remade with any credibility at all. The answer? Steve Carell.
The premise is that Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is an analyst at CONTROL, a secret spy agency. He is desperate to get out into the field and be an agent, despite being quite physically incompetent. A break-in results in Maxwell being one of the only agents able to be deployed, sent out with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway).
It’s quite good, but certainly any weaknesses in the script are saved by the cast. Not only is there Carell and Hathaway, but Alan Arkin as the chief, Bill Murray in a delightful cameo as Agent 13, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (who I totally love playing comedy or action, but ideally both) as Agent 23 and Terence Stamp as Siegfried from KAOS. For me, I still didn’t like the last half hour or so. Perhaps it should have been a ninety minute film rather than a hundred-and-ten minute film. Or perhaps the last section just needed to be better.
If you are a massive Get Smart (the television show) fan, you may like the nods to the original that are in this, but overall, there was no way it was ever going capture the kitsch glamour of the original.