A Few Quick Thoughts on Get Smart

The new Get Smart movie starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway is pretty good.  It’s a solid comedy of classic style (versus the gross-out, stoner, and sex comedies that have been prevalent of late) that hits with all of its jokes, has a great cast, and pays homage to its roots while updating appropriately for the modern age.

Carell, naturally, plays Maxwell Smart, and it’s hard to imagine another actor working today that would be more perfect in the role of Agent 86.  In something of a departure from the original series, he actually displays deliberate competence — though he also has more than his share of dumb luck and misfortune as well.

Anne Hathaway plays Agent 99 in a fairly straight role, though as her partnership with Smart develops, she loosens up and acquires more of the quirky feel of her role’s predecessor.  That bit of character development is, perhaps, indicative of some of the arc of the movie itself, as Smart’s old-style secret agenting turns out to be effective even in today’s world.

The rest of the cast is also solid, with Alan Arkin as The Chief, The Rock as Agent 23, Terrence Stamp as Siegfried, Masi Oka as one of the tech guys, and a number of other cameos and brief appearances (James Caan as the President, Bill Murray as the lonely Agent 13, and Patrick Warburton as Hymie in what appears to be set up for a sequel).

The plot is, well, CONTROL versus KAOS.  It follows the first mission of Smart as a field agent (after having been an analyst) and how he and Agent 99 come to work together.

So, yeah.  Nothing mind-blowing or genre-transforming here, but a solidly entertaining and funny movie with no serious flaws.  Furthermore, it’s a remake that doesn’t suck.  That makes it something of a rarity these days.