June 22, 2008

Get Smart

Oh, the times I watched this 1960s TV show on Nick-At-Nite and laughed. Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, the CONTROL agent who manages to save the day in spite of himself, oh bumbling man that he was.

Last night I went to see the new movie adaptation. In the film, Steve Carell plays Max who, when we first meet him, is merely an analyst at CONTROL, which has taken itself further underground by pretending to be a defunct intelligence agency. He is their best analyst, although his thoroughness leads him to producing absolutely massive briefing reports (600+ pages), and he wants to become a field agent.

Through circumstances I'd rather not reveal, he does become one. Unlike in the TV series, where Max mostly was just what he appeared - a bumbling fool, the movies Maxwell Smart does a lot of the silly things he does because he has no field experience. That makes it ring a little truer, especially given that one would expect an intelligence agent to have shown some competencies.

Overall, I'd say the movie was good, and a worthy successor to the TV series. However, and this could be a result of the underwhelming audience, it wasn't exceptionally funny. It had moments (Bill Murray has a cameo as Agent 13, whom fans of the series will remember as the agent who was always in something, like a trash can or behind a painting, things like that), but it was mostly amusing and less laugh-out-loud funny.