If Get Smart were called Threat Level: Midnight, starring Agent Michael Scarn, I think it would have been a lot funnier. I was expecting the movie to be one of this summer’s shining stars, at least a solid comedy. As it was, Steve Carell’s latest left me a little unsatisfied.
Where to start? Carell stars as Maxwell Smart, a member of a super secret intelligence group called CONTROL. After eight long years of listening to “chatter”, he’s finally been elevated to the lofty position of field agent. It’s the greatest day of Max’s life, but just to make things sweeter, he’s been teamed up with super sexy Agent 99, played by super sexy Anne Hathaway. Together, they set off to thwart the diabolical KOAS, who of course want nothing more than to get their hands on nuclear missiles and blow things up.
First off, we have funny man Steve Carell. He’s made comedy gold out of The Office, but for some reason, none of that has translated to any of his movies. It’s like he can’t stop playing Michael Scott, who’s a great character, in The Office, but does nothing to make the Maxwell Smart character his own. Next we have super sexy Anne Hathaway, who’s a great actress and super sexy, but was born twenty years too late to be cast as a believable love interest (in Get Smart at least, but NOT for How Jimmy Bing Moved It Moved It: The Jimmy Bing and Anne Hathaway Story).
I felt that the movie’s story never really came togther. Max is made a field agent, then sent off to Russia with 99 to track down some missiles, then they fight some people and there’s a fire and then they save the President somehow. Along the way they tell a few jokes. You’re left wondering what exactly you’d have to do to get with Anne Hathaway.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie does manage to bring some funny to the game, but it feels like funny supplmented by a movie and not the other way around. It’s a shame too, when you see some of the talent attached: Alan Arkin and David Koechner, even cameos by Patrick Warburton and Bill Murray. Bill Murray! The movie’s here-now-there-later story made me feel like a lot of that talent was wasted.
One of these days, Get Smart will come on at 4 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon while you’re vacuuming your living room. You’ll sit down and watch, and you’ll have a real good time. Until then, you’re not missing too much.