"Disappointing, with Too Much Off-Color Humor and Obscenities"
What You Need To Know:
GET SMART doesn’t quite capture the zany comedy and cherished characters of the originals, but it does have some good laughs that may attract today’s young people. Sadly, enjoyment of the movie is almost ruined by too much foul language and off-color dialogue that isn’t funny, adds nothing and stalls the plot.
(Ro, B, PC, Ho, LLL, VV, S, N, A, M) Light Romantic worldview that humanizes evil, with some moral content and some lazy politically correct humor regarding characters that are supposed to resemble President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, plus hero kisses evil henchman to divert his attention; about 31 obscenities (including four light ones) and 10 light profanities, plus some off-color, scatological humor and dialogue including scene where jet pilot vomits into bag and a minor character gives someone the finger; strong comic, action violence such as fighting, people shot, man hit on head with fire extinguisher, some groin hits, car chase, car crash, man dragged, man tossed out of car into river; some light sexual comments and off-color humor, plus man kisses evil henchman to divert his attention; a joke in one scene about an embarrassing case of rear male nudity; alcohol use; no smoking; and, hero lies at one point, plus stealing and extortion by bad guys.
GET SMART is a modern re-telling of the much beloved 1960s TV spy spoof created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. It doesn’t quite capture the zany comedy and cherished characters of the originals, but it does have some good laughs that may attract today’s young people. Sadly, enjoyment of the movie is almost ruined by too much foul language and off-color dialogue that isn’t funny, adds nothing and stalls the plot.
The movie is an “origin” story where our hero Maxwell Smart, played well by Steve Carell, is a spy analyst for CONTROL, a super-secret U.S. spy agency battling KAOS, an evil crime syndicate. Max wants nothing more than to become an agent like his idol, the super-suave Agent 23, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
KAOS attacks CONTROL’s headquarters and learns the identities of all but one of its agents. The Chief, played by Alan Arkin, has no choice but to promote Max and pair him with Agent 99, played by Anne Hathaway. They have to foil a KAOS plot to blackmail the U.S. with nuclear weapons KAOS has stolen. Max has trouble earning 99’s respect, however. Their bickering endangers their mission, especially when they have to go up against KAOS operative Siegfried, played by Terence Stamp.
GET SMART was a beloved television show. For that reason, it was highly anticipated as a movie. The good news is that it delivers some real laughs. The less than good news is that the movie is peppered with so much off-color, scatological references and humor that even a junk popcorn movie fanatic might find their stomach turning. Also, real aficionados will note that some of the great punch-lines of GET SMART have been lost through incompetent writing, and Anne Hathaway fails to deliver an appealing character who can captivate the audience’s attention. The movie completely changes the relationship between 99 and Max by making 99 slightly abrasive. Also, it misses a great opportunity by changing the character of Max’s arch-enemy, Siegfried, one of the funniest bad guys ever invented. The filmmakers make Siegfried much too serious and unflappable. And, they totally waste a cameo by Bill Murray as one of the petulant agents hiding out in bizarre, funny places who used to help Max during his missions in the TV show.