July 6, 2008

Saving The World…And Loving It.

Posted in Action, Comedy, Crime, Movies at 7:26 pm by inflickted

According to the film gods, “Get Smart” is a big-screen adaptation of Mel Brook’s spy parody television series with the same name. Although I am unfamiliar with the said TV series, I am a fan of Steve Carell’s dead-pan type of comedy. So it wasn’t difficult to convince myself that the movie is going to be funny and that Carell’s brand of comedy will be seen throughout the movie.

The film can be considered a nostalgic trip to those who saw the 1960’s TV show, but to us unfortunate youth, we are treated to a slapstick blockbuster filled with humor, action, and goofy dialogues. Get Smart is yet another welcome addition to this year’s summer film season.

At the helm of this adaptation is the director Peter Segal. He is the man behind such films as “50 First Dates,” “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult,” and “Anger Management.” Like the movies on this list, the premise behind the “Get Smart” is pretty interesting, however, the script and the directing is somewhat mediocre. I will give it to him though that the action sequences were well paced, and over the top (very Michael Bay-ish).

The actors were generally the film’s notable asset. Of course Steve Carell as “Maxwell Smart” was wickedly crazy funny. He totally stands out and executes his role famously. Anne Hathaway as “Agent 99” kept up with Carell, the jokes, and brought with her that extra hotness to the flick. Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson as “Agent 23” was good despite having a small role. Alan Arkin as “The Chief” was thoughtful and deliberate, while Terence Stamp as the villain, “Seigfried” was crazy and dead on. Even “The Great Khali” as an evil henchman had his funny moments.

The first half of the film was great! I was laughing and having a good time watching Carell and his many slapstick scenes. It had swift and screwy dialogues accompanied by luscious goofiness that I have come to love. You’ve got to admire how blatantly stuff happens in this flick. It’s very matter of fact slapstick. Then comes the twist that justifies it with a straight, deadpan reaction. Responding to what you’d expect but can’t quite believe still happened is the real joke. Indeed I was pleasantly surprised.

As for the second half, lines became more arbitrary with action sequences of marginal humor. The movie toned down as it rushed to tie up loose ends and wrap up the story. The movie has small ambitions anyway, and fortunately it achieves them before it completely lost its momentum.

“Get Smart” is an entertaining and sincere action comedy, and I think that’s the reason why it works. When Carell acts, you see and feel his genuine performance. As if none of it was forced on him to say or act out. It’s definitely a watchable movie if you can spare the time and money. As a matter of fact, it could have been a great movie; too bad, they “missed it by that much.”

It gets a pretty smart 3.8 out of 5 or 76% infectious

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