Today we seek simple and innocent entertainment with Get Smart, a 2008 movie inspired by an old 1960s series starring the absolutely irresistible Steve Carell.
The plot revolves around Maxwell Smart, a brilliant analyst in the secret organization Control, who, despite his sharp mind and eye for detail, remains constantly in the claustrophobic and bureaucratic environment of the office.
Years pass in frantic training to be an actual secret agent, ambition is strong, and the desire to prove his worth is palpable. However, his boss insists that his actual value lies in the intellectual and analytical support he provides to his colleagues.
Thus, his desk remains his battleground until the storm breaks.
Everything changes when a terrorist threat strikes at the heart of their agency and the identities of his colleagues are compromised, while he is a secret weapon unknown to the enemy.
At his side is Agent 99, a charming and highly skilled colleague who escorts him en route to the cold lands of Russia.
Their objective? To investigate and neutralize a mysterious organization with nuclear ambitions, aiming to strike at America’s largest cities, starting with Los Angeles.
However, his overwhelming enthusiasm to finally be an agent leads to hair-raising situations, often jeopardizing the mission’s success.
His partner, at first skeptical and cold toward him, gradually thaws out and admires his unstoppable spirit; despite the stupidity, respect arises and progressively becomes more profound and intimate.
But every story has twists and turns, and despite their best efforts, they fall into the net set by the enemy. Indeed, there is a traitor in Control, a mole working from within who threatens their mission and their burgeoning romance.
Smart guy fights and big ones stay at the office
The centerpiece is the unmistakable Steve Carell, who brilliantly embodies the redemption of the brainiac in a world dominated by biceps.
Compared to his more athletic colleagues, Carell brings laughter, sarcasm, and wit to the stage, winning over audiences with his unparalleled performance.
Breaking the mold of classic action heroes, we find Dwayne Johnson as the invincible agent, usually cloaked in charm and mystery.
Yet, in an ironic waistline, Johnson finds himself pinned to a desk, taking the place that was Carell’s.
The boring office is not a friendly environment for the muscular actor, who, with a sense of frustration growing almost palpable, displays a myriad of hilarious, sudden overreactions.
Steve Carell never misses an opportunity for a joke with his comedic prowess and hilarious body language, and the image of a severe professional, creating an irresistible comic cocktail.
Acting as Carell’s counterpart is the excellent Anne Hathaway, bringing a refined irony and diving joyfully into the general chaos, using her versatility to create a lively and engaging character.
Her athleticism in the action scenes does not go unnoticed, and the performance suggests a Bond girl worthy of standing alongside the mythical Sean Connery.
However, the parade of stars doesn’t end there, with two heads of secret organizations played by two high-caliber actors such as Alan Arkin, who, with his solid comedic experience, leads the good guys’ team; while the icy Terence Stamp leads the enemies with an eerie but equally ironic aura.
The supporting cast is no less impressive, with gentle giant Terry Crews and ingenious little Masi Oka, and with a touch of nostalgia, moreover, we have two cinematic icons as James Caan and Bill Murray.
What more could we ask for as a cast for this comic spy movie from 2008 like Get Smart?
Built for democratic fun
Director Peter Segal‘s work has not always been a unanimous success; in some cases, unfortunately, the extreme celerity in his editing does not allow for the full expression of the comic timing necessary for this genre.
Nonetheless, when Segal works at his best, the result has always been a raging wave of hilarity for audiences in films like Anger Management and The Longest Yard, for example, where we finally see a better balance between a brisk pace and humor combined into an explosive cocktail of fun.
Indeed, we cannot assign Segal a place in the Olympus of comedy alongside seminal figures such as Billy Wilder or Mel Brooks, masters who blazed an impressive trail paving the way for thousands of future colleagues, incidentally with Brooks even contributing to the writing of the original series from which Get Smart arrived as a movie in 2008.
However, there is no denying Segal’s ability to channel and amplify Steve Carell’s innate humor with a solid trendy reinterpretation of the comedic formula that led to the series’ success.
Another considerable merit of this film lies in its versatility in engaging a broad range of viewers without exaggeration or excessive vulgarity that would intimidate someone.
Regardless of age, gender, or nationality, Get Smart is a universal comic flick whose simplicity and effectiveness of its humor pervade every barrier, reaching the hearts of a diverse audience.
In addition, even for adventure lovers, there is no lack of well-choreographed action scenes with spectacular shootouts, fights, and chases in cars, motorcycles and airplanes, or a combination of these vehicles.
The take on the James Bond-esque espionage genre is more demented than other movies such as The Kingsman saga, which remained more tied to an independent plot than just a pretext for a series of continuous gags.