A lot of the criticism of Get Smart – the Steve Carell / Anne Hathaway spy comedy – is that it doesn’t live up to the original tv series. But having never seen the tv show, I’ve no idea what they’re talking about. All I have to go on is a smileworthy movie with likeable stars (though hardly exuding crackling chemistry – inspite of the plastic surgery sub-plot she seems about a decade too young for him) and a thoroughly silly but happy plot.
Carell plays Maxwell Smart, a data analyst for a top secret government agency called CONTROL. Think Andy Stitzer with better gadgets. Following an attack on CONTROL’s hideaway HQ, the identities of all its agents are collectively compromised, meaning that the earnest Max is finally called upon to enter the field. I’m not really sure what happens next, but there’s a lot of explosions, funny dancing, some sky diving, and some hammy bad guys. Teamed with the beautiful Agent 99 (Hathaway) they trek to Russia on something of a goosechase (Red Square looks nice though) and end up at the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, where a nuclear bomb’s timed to go off in the last few bars of Ode to Joy. Oh joy.