Starring: Steve Carrell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin

Director: Peter Segal

Screenplay: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember

Cinematography: Christopher Burian Mohr, Martin Gendron, James Hegedus

Original Score: Trevor Rabin

Running Time: 110 Mins.

Of all the Summer tent-pole releases, it is safe to say that Get Smart was the one I anticipated the least, I can’t quite put my finger on why, and im sad to say it really hasn’t endeared me to the film any more now I’ve seen it. For those unfamiliar with the original 60’s series on which it is based the plot goes as follows, an inept government agent (Steve Carrell) who can’t quite make the grade as anything more than an analyst finds his dreams come true when all other agents are rendered unavailable, apart from Anna Hathaway’s Agent 26, (or some other random number i fail to remember) inevitably these two are paired up to take on the forces of evil, fronted by Terence Stamp, phoning in his performance as possibly the weakest megalomaniac baddie ever!

And that’s it, though i’m not damning the film for its lack of plot, or originality of what plot it does have, simply put all the elements here should have come together so much better. For a start Peter Segal can make very funny, very entertaining films, Adam Snadler vehicles Anger Management and 50 First Dates being two of them, and the pedigree of actors involved speaks for itself, Carrell, Stamp, Hathaway, Arkin, hell even Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is usually value for money! At 110 minutes the film seems to drag, not good for a supposedly snappy ride of a film, and i found myself checking my watch on a number of accasions,always a barometer of a badly paced film.

The pacing fault could well be forgiven, were the laughs hearty when they, sadly they are merely smirk-some. Steve Carrell is getting a habit of coasting by on his bumbling everyman schtick, it’s simply not funny enough to repeat the jokein each and every role, Jim Carrey he ain’t! I hear he is exceptional in The Office so maybe its time he stuck to TV work, or find a better agent and another Little Miss Sunshine to up his rep. Opposite Carrell is Anne Hathaway, so good in the Devil Wears Prada her she show very little spark, looking almost bored though much of the film, very hot, but bored, the worst is to come though whereby a romantic subplot creeps in between the two of them, totally misjudged and with Carrell coming off more like a creepy uncle than boyfriend material.

What elevated the film slightly are amusing supporting roles, most natoably Alan Arkin and the aforementioned Dwayne Johnson. Johnson’s comic timing is brilliant, putting Carrell to shame giving the film a lift where it’s needed, Arkin as ever brings some class to the proceedings as the boss figure, showing he’s as game for a bit of slap-stick as anyone. Sandwiched between these redeeming support performances, and the lacklustre main roles are the action sequences, while far from bad there is something severely lacking on this front too, Segal simply cannot inject any spark into them and not a single scene sticks out as memorable. It’s a real shame to say this but the closest thing to Get Smart I can think of is Johnny English, they both attempt to do achieve the same things, a spy plot, comedy balanced with action and an attempt at building a franchise, and while Johnny English was far from good it was at least funny, and slightly memorable.

September and August this year are flooded with comedies, and excellent ones at that, it’S sad to say that this particular ‘comedy’ (and i use that term loosely) has turned out to be the weakest by a mile, though should you see it, look out for a simply pointless cameo by Comedy Legend Bill Murray.

VERDICT  

It should have added up to much more, a sum of its parts if you will, Carrell, a seasoned comedy director, and a top notch supporting cast. As it is, only one of those element’s comes anywhere near achieving potential, who’d have though after The Scorpion King ‘The Rock would be the best thing about a film! The possibilty of redeeming action scenes simply falls flat, not bad but nowhere near as memorable as was needed, and in particular expected, making it all the more disappointing and a deeply average film.

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