Review: ‘Get Smart’ – Making me laugh? Mission: impossible

2008 will go down as the year that trailers ruined movies for me. First, it was Baby Mama. I am a HUGE Tina Fey fan, and was super excited to see this one. Perhaps I had just seen too many clips online or on TV or something, but when I saw the movie in the theater, I sat there disappointed because all the parts that made me laugh on the trailer/TV spots were the only funny parts I found in the film.

Fast forward to Indiana Jones and the Mystery of How This Made $700 Million Worldwide: I didn’t want to see anything beforehand–if I REALLY want to see a movie, I do my best to avoid the ubiquitous hype machine that relentlessly promotes it–but I was skeptical; after all, Dr. Jones hadn’t made an appearance in 1989. I saw the trailer and thought, if this is what they used for the trailer, then what they don’t show will blow my mind! But once again I was let down. Big time. (Aliens? Really?)

The Get Smart trailers seemed alright–I wasn’t dying to see this film like I was Baby Mama or Old Man Jones Steals an Alien Skull, but the stuff I had seen looked funny enough. I’d give this film a shot.

Bad move; in a packed auditorium I sat there and didn’t laugh. I wasn’t laughing because once again I had already seen the best parts of the film. Sure, I think I let out a chortle and possibly two guffaws, but there was nothing in Get Smart that even came close to genuine laughter.

And because I wasn’t laughing, I got restless and fidgety.

GetSmartPosterWhat’s it about? Based on the 1960’s sitcom of the same name, Get Smart is the story of Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 (Steve Carell), a pencil pusher for the secret government agency CONTROL who, after its headquarters are invaded by the secret communist organization KAOS, is promoted to full-blown spy and is partnered with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway). Crazy mix-em-ups ensue.

What’s good about it? Because he plays a socially retarded moron on The Office (another post, another time), I feared that Steve Carell would channel Inspector Clouseau instead of making the character of Maxwell Smart his own. I am happy to report that while Smart gets himself into zany predicaments, he also has a few tricks up his sleeve. Good job, Carell.

What’s bad about it? If you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve seen the film. And making Carell and Hathaway as love interests is kinda’ wrong–there’s a 20-year age difference (even though the plot finds a way around that predicament).

Perfect for: Steve Carell fans, Anne Hathaway fans, those who wish James Bond movies had more whimsy, and people who have no idea this movie exists.

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3 Responses to “Review: ‘Get Smart’ – Making me laugh? Mission: impossible”

  1. Bruce Says:

    I was sitting in a packed theater watching Get Smart – and loving it! The audience at the this theater were laughing out loud. Unlike you, I didn’t see many clips before hand so that might be part of it. But it really seemed like a suitable update to the re-runs of the slapstick show it was based on.

  2. yikbo Says:

    It’s happened before where everyone is laughing but me–to this day I have no idea why people think “Elf” is funny.

  3. patrick Says:

    Get Smart looks pretty good over all though it seems like Steve Carell is veering toward an excess of slapstick humor

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