Director: Peter Segal
The late sixties were a different time. The cold war was in full force and nobody had yet heard of Mel Brooks or Buck Henry. Then, faster than you could say “the nude bomb” everyone had a very special place in their childhood memories for a show called Get Smart.
Like all those precious childhood memories, Hollywood is looking to exhume, makeover and whore them out for loose change. Sometimes this memory lane pimping works out, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, I suppose they could have done worse, but couldn’t they have done better?
First the casting. Steve Carell has the task of filling the big phone shoes of Don Adams. While he comes close, for some reason they chose to change the character from an over confident buffoon to a brilliant researcher who can kick some serious ass. As wrong as that is, the most horrific casting is Ann Hathaway as Agent 99. In the original, agent 99 is a super hot Barbara Feldon who in her late thirties plays the level headed ying, to the bumbling Yang. Here, in true Hollywood “no one is sexy over 21” fashion they cast a twinky which ads an uncomfortable young-enough-to-be-your-daughter romance twists to the whole thing.
On the whole I was hoping for better but it was apparent that many in the audience thought it was absolutely hysterical. If you’re looking for harmless silliness you’ll find it here. If you’re looking for classic comedy gold, you’ll find it already on DVD under Get Smart.