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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Steve Carell
Alan Arkin
Anne Hathaway
Terence Stamp
Ken Davitian
Bill Murray
Dwayne Johnson.
Directors
Peter Segal.
Screenwriters
Tom J Astle
Matt Ember.
Running Time
110 minutes

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Get Smart
Carell is a secret agent man, in a TV adaptation that doesn’t suck!


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Plot
With the identity of its spies compromised, US spy agency CONTROL is forced to send analyst Maxwell Smart (Carell) into the field. Teamed with glamorous Agent 99 (Hathaway), he must prevent world domination by crime syndicate KAOS.


Review
Get Smart
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The sacred cows in America’s television back-catalogue have suffered bloody slaughter on their journey to the big screen. For every Batman, there’s been a Bewitched; for every Star Trek, a Starsky & Hutch. Some are scuppered by a surfeit of reverence to the source; many more by an overplayed wink to an audience simply wanting a nostalgia trip to their televisual youth. No such mistake has been made with Get Smart, a largely faithful and mercifully straight re-imagining of a TV show not overly familiar to British audiences.

In the States, this late-’60s sitcom, devised by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, followed the weekly exploits of Maxwell Smart, a not entirely hopeless but certainly hapless secret agent working for US agency CONTROL against the forces of KAOS. In the hands of Steve Carell, Smart evokes the spirit of Peter Sellers even more than the series’ original star, Don Adams, doing what Steve Martin in Sgt. Bilko and Johnny Knoxville in The Dukes Of Hazzard failed to do: play it straight. And in the simplest terms, that’s why it’s funny.

In many ways, Maxwell Smart is the role Carell was born to play. The 007 wannabe exudes the guileless quality of his 40-year-old virgin; the sobriety-in-the-face-of-absurdity of his Daily Show ‘news’ reporter; and the well-meaning clumsiness of his Office boss. It’s the perfect amalgam of his specialist skills, though Get Smart isn’t quite the perfect showcase for them.

Definitely too long, the story of KAOS honcho Siegfried (Terence Stamp in the quintessential British baddie role) and his threat to do evil things with bombs is overly convoluted. You find yourself waiting for director Peter Segal (50 First Dates) to get the plot out of the way so we can get back to the pratfalls, the action and the jokes.

Of which, incidentally, there are many. Dwayne ‘The Artist formerly known as The Rock’ Johnson, as smooth-talking Agent 23, proves he’s as adept at walking into a wall as he is at whooping ass, and the stunning Anne Hathaway highkicks her way through the film and into your heart. Add in high-end CG and stunt work, and it’s clear why they’re talking franchise.


Verdict
Despite a plot that should be simpler, Get Smart is as big on action as it is on laughs and works because it’s less a tired spoof and more a quality comedic adventure movie in its own right.


Reviewed by Tony Horkins

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Get Smart
Empire Star Rating

Fairly enjoyable spy comedy

Yes, this film is silly. Yes, it's jokes are borderline childish and the cast is obviously looking for an easy paycheck, but people looking to relax and forget all of one's troubles will certainly be satisfied. Thanks mostly to the efforts of Steve Carell, Get Smart is a comedy which you will at least recommend to your friends after watching. Whether turning to it for a good night out or using it as a mid-week rental, this movie will not disappoint. Just expect the usual lack of substance found... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by djphilips at 16:23, 07 April 2010 | Report This Post


Get Smart

I will admit when I prepared to watch this I was expecting very little but was rewarded with, well, a good and harmless piece of comedy. I can imagine no other actor than Carell taking the part of Maxwell Smart, with some genuinely funny slapstick comedy backed up with excellent dialogue. As a matter of fact Hathaway, Johnson and Arkin all deliver some laughs. Another positive aspect is the stunning fight set-pieces and the brilliant gadgetry, which provides a great mocking of the James Bond ico... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JJB888 at 18:12, 09 July 2009 | Report This Post


Get Smart

I will admit when I prepared to watch this I was expecting very little but was rewarded with, well, a good and harmless piece of comedy. I can imagine no other actor than Carell taking the part of Maxwell Smart, with some genuinely funny slapstick comedy backed up with excellent dialogue. As a matter of fact Hathaway, Johnson and Arkin all deliver some laughs. Another positive aspect is the stunning fight set-pieces and the brilliant gadgetry, which provides a great mocking of the James Bond ico... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JJB888 at 18:12, 09 July 2009 | Report This Post


Good fun!

It won't blow you away or change your outlook on life, but it'll probably make you chuckle for just under 2 hours. A fun movie! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SkullKassidy at 20:06, 07 March 2009 | Report This Post


It's One Of Those Movies To Enjoy!

I was a little worried about this, what if they just showed the funny side and when you watch it yourself it was going to be the most disappointing thing you have seen. Well, I was proven wrong. Funny, over the top, romance, wicked soundtrack and excellent pefomances from the main stars. I haven't seen the TV series but my mum did and said it was just like the movie, funny and lots of humour. Without doubt, Steve Carrell was Maxwell Smart because he can do funny with his facial features and his ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:27, 22 February 2009 | Report This Post


Funny!

I quite enjoyed this ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 13:11, 10 September 2008 | Report This Post


Oh, come off it?

Four and five star ratings. Really? Some very 'read from the (bad) script' performances leading to a catalogue of misfiring jokes that edged towards the embarrassing in act two. Stamp was incredibly wooden in his 'phoned in performance, and every single moment was laid on in a way that there was not even the hint of a surprise. I saw some tit wrote on IMDB that his role (spoiler!) allowed The Rock to 'play against type'. WTF? Is he so establshed as to have a 'type' to veer so erratically from, e... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by thechair at 18:30, 06 September 2008 | Report This Post


Get Smart

This is a silly, silly movie and an enjoyable way to pass an evening. The plot is wafer thin, Max Smart gets a chance to be a field-agent, is teamed with Agent 99, and stops the bad guys (does he? - yes he does!). This incarnation of Maxwell Smart (Steve Carrell) is not such a bumbling idiot as the original, and is kind of clever in a very odd way. This I feel is where the film fall down a bit as the whole point of the original series is that Smart is incredibly incompetent but still saves the d... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 20:56, 01 September 2008 | Report This Post


amazing !!!!

this is the best comedy of the year so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ryanand conor at 18:58, 31 August 2008 | Report This Post


get smart i found dissapointing the biggest laugh i had was in the stepbrothers trailer before hand this type of silly naked gun style humour is difficult to pull off the best way i think is to keep it tight 80or 90 mins throw loads of jokes in if 1in 4 hit youre right this is to long its not funny enough tha action bits dont really fit with the comic interludes and carrell is no neilsen or indeed bill murray this was ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by quizkid at 12:25, 27 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Good silly fun

Very enjoyable and very funny   3.5/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DJ Rob C: Mark II! at 07:16, 27 August 2008 | Report This Post


Good silly fun

Carrel is likeable and there are a lot of silly moments to raise a laugh. About what you expect. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Gold Digger at 16:44, 26 August 2008 | Report This Post


I saw the film earlier today and was glad to finally see a good ol' funny film with plently of gags in it, Steve Carell is what really makes it but I welcome some of the other comedic actors in the film including the guy who is borats producer and champ from anchorman (sorry honestly dont know their names!) who help take some of the limelight away. However I did think that Bill Murray was criminally underused which was a shame but still there were some great moments in the film including the jet... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by freddyboi13 at 21:33, 24 August 2008 | Report This Post


Three Stars? THAT'S A JOKE!

This is comedy of the year. A stunning performance from carell make an unsuspectable film more enjoyable. Unbelievably good laughs, and a must see ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by andy399 at 22:34, 22 August 2008 | Report This Post


I saw this today, and I really enjoyed it! The script is a great mixture of slapstick and deadpan humour, which works because of Steve Carrell's spot-on delivery. I thought he, Anne Hathaway and The Rock were all brilliant, though I wish there had been more of Agent 23, because he was one of the funniest aspects of the entire film, in my opinion. Also, Alan Arkin is a legend. I've been looking forward to this film for a while, and one of my biggest fears was that all the best bits were in the... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Wynter at 21:00, 21 August 2008 | Report This Post


Not bad at all!

Get Smart was a TV show in the 60's starring Don Adams as Maxwell Smart. The show was created by Mel Brooks. Right off to bat that should tell you this film is not going to be entirely serious. For a comedy, I subscribe to the '5-laugh' rule. If I laugh out loud 5 times (more than a snigger) it's a funny film. Steve Carrell takes Don Adams role of Max Smart, an analyst - formerly fat - who is awaiting the results of a Field Agent exam. Max works for a governmental agency called Control f... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by timkenyon at 21:52, 20 August 2008 | Report This Post


Above average fun

Just returned from a free screening and I'd say this Empire review is bang on the money, I found it to be quite good (much more enjoyable than the god-awful Stepbrothers) but anyway, it doesn't have any 'gut-busters' but I found myself chuckling the entire time. Oh and the Rock is great and should have been used more, and Anne Hathaway's legs are worth seeing anytime! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse2 at 21:25, 12 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

Already saw this, and I'n not ashamed to admit it, it enjoyed it! As the review says, the story is way too convoluted and unnecessary Bond-ish. Carrell is okay, Hathaway kicks ass, The Rock is annoying as usual. It is a big fat shame that you already've seen way too much of the jokes in the trailers, not too many good ones left. Have no idea why, but it's surprisingly entertaining. Depends on my mood if it is a 3-star or a 4-star movie. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mejaars at 10:05, 12 August 2008 | Report This Post


I saw a preview of this tonight and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Far funnier than I'd expected it to be, although it's a shame that the trailer gives away so much from the second half of the film. The second half also doesn't quite live up to the first, but this is still solid entertainment mainly due to another winning turn from Steve Carrell. Great support too from the likes of Alan Arkin and David Koechner. 4 Stars ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by skeletonjack at 22:37, 11 August 2008 | Report This Post


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