6/20/08

Get Smart: That's the Second Greatest Spy Comedy I've Ever Seen

Why It's a Geek Movie
As I noted in the Indiana Jones review, nostalgia is a big part of geekdom. A geek will be one of the first to be able to tell you every line of dialog of every episode of every season of the original Get Smart TV show. Also, every geek longs to be a spy. Just admit it. C'mon. Really. I mean, if it's not a ninja or a pirate, a very close third is a spy.

What's it About?
Would you believe... a spy more manly and sexually potent than the combination of Peirce Brosnan, Sean Connery and Matt Damon put together? How about just one of them? How about a generally unlucky and geeky annalyst who happens to know what he's doing in the field?

Maxwell Smart is a analyst for Control, a spy agency that was "officially" disbanded at the end of the cold war. They still run covert operations keeping their rival, Kaos, on check. When the identities of all the field agents are revealed in a raid on the Control base, Max is promoted to field agent since no one knows who he is. This is his chance to prove himself to Chief and his hot partner, Agent 99.

Really, the plot is pretty simple to follow. Just like the TV show, it wasn't so much about the plot as it was about the laughs.

How to Appreciate It
If you're looking for a clone of Don Adams, you're not going to find it. This is not the Maxwell Smart you know and love. But at the same time, it absolutely is! Maxwell Smart was originally a spoof of James Bond. James Bond, along with his charm, is best known for his older movies - the ones that represent the sixties and seventies pretty well. What they tried to do, and what, in my opinion, they succeeded in doing with this movie is to take the same idea and apply it to an updated anchor - Jason Borne. The Borne Identity represents our current era much better than any thought of Dr. No or The Spy Who Loved Me. But along with this updated vision, they still had a comic legacy to maintain from the original Get Smart. Well not only would it totally not fit for Steve Carrell to do a spot-on Don Adams impression in the middle of a realistic Borne Identity spoof, but it would do the original a disservice. To appreciate this movie, understand that updating a classic means giving and taking. In the end, you're going to have to end up taking it as it is... and loving it.

Is it Worth It?
To be honest, I don't think I've ever laughed any harder at a Steve Carrell movie! Don't get me wrong, I love the guy and think he's hilarious, but that's just how good this particular project was. Maybe it was the combination of hilarity and nostalgia, but at one point I think I almost ran out of breath. I honestly believe that if Zombie Don Adams rose from his grave and saw this movie he would break one of his brittle, decaying ribs from laughter before brutally devouring the rest of the audience. And then maybe he'd grab for someone, slip on some buttery popcorn on the floor, fall to the ground and say "Missed it by that much!" The guy would laugh... and it would be the last laugh he ever laughed.

Enough about Zombie Don Adams. You will enjoy this movie more than any zombie could ever dream of enjoying any piece of art. Go see it now and I will personally guarantee that you will enjoy it or my money back.