Blu-ray/DVD Review: Get Smart

Get Smart
Warner Home Entertainment
Release date: November 4th, 2008
MSRP: $35.99

Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp

When the identities of CONTROL’s agents gets in the hands of criminals, the org must team up their one remaining secret agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) with one of their top analysts, Maxwell Smart. Smart is good at his job, but has always dreamed of being a covert agent. While he is delighted at this, 99 is less than thrilled at being paired up with a geek with no experience of street skills.

Carell is delightful as a well meaning, but very inexperienced agent. Instead of making him a dufus, they have him as a smart analyst with dreams of working in the field. When those dreams come true, he tries very hard not to screw up.

I would imagine that die hard fans of the original series will have issues with this film. But did anyone really want to see Carell ape Adams? Instead of mimicking the show, they have adapted it into their own thing. And the result is a film that may not be great, but is fairly entertaining.

Anne Hathaway does an ok job here. She does not steal the show, but does manage to keep up with Carell, which is about as much as one could hope for.

The supporting cast delivers as well. Alan Arkin plays the head of CONTROL, playing an exasperated boss that sees the situation as hopeless, but does the best he can with what he has.Duane Johnson continues to show his skills at humor here. He has a great scene with Alan Arkin, where he staples the head of a co-worker, only to be told by Arkin, “We don’t do that kind of thing at Control, that’s CIA stuff.”

Terrence Stamp delivers the goods as the lead baddie (the leader of KAOS). He oozes just the right amount of menace here. Carall and Stamp deadpan as well as anyone out there.

The highlight is Comedy Optimization Mode. This allows you to add close to an hours worth of deleted/alternate scenes to the film. Very cool. Others include casting sessions, a look at the Moscow shoot and a bit about a rather disgusting puke scene. We also get a promo hyping the direct-to-DVD sequel. There a couple of others, but they honestly are not particularly noteworthy.

While it is unlikely that I will revisit Get Smart, it was an entertaining enough way to pass an afternoon. Fans of Carell will enjoy, but fans of the original series may, as I said, have issues with the liberties that have been taken.

Order Get Smart from Amazon.

Jeremy Lynch