“Carell delivers smart comedy.”

Movies based on past TV shows are pretty much hit or miss. There are two schools of thought on these. You can try to completely mirror the original or take the concept, modernize the characters and culture, and create a film that is relevant while holding true to the nostalgia of the original. That is primarily what takes place in the new world of Get Smart. The names are the same but the story has been changed slightly to give it, what I feel, is a wittier, fast paced version of the television series.

Carell continues to show his strength in comedic roles by creating a Smart that is enough like Adams to be recognizable but still adding his own versatile wit and sharp paced liners. When he is called upon to be bumbling he does it without the slapstick campiness. When he has to be clever he is suave but naive. Though a whopping 20 years younger than her on screen co-star, Hathaway holds her own as 99 and brings a modernized edge to this female spy role. She and Carell work well together and the timing is decent.

This film has a strong supporting cast including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Alan Arkin, Nate Torrence and David Koechner. Each person brings their own unique brand of acting humor to this film. Although there is nothing overly creative or mold breaking about Get Smart, all the pieces come together to make a great all around package. The site gags work without being hokey and humor is delivered and directed perfectly.

Get Smart is rated PG-13 for some rude humor, action violence and language. It is tamer than most films of this rating and is safe for anyone 11 and up. The rude humor is subtle and sparse. The writers weave it in with tact and it never seems raunchy or gratuitous. Fans of the TV show may worry that this new installment will deface the original but I truly feel that if they give it a shot they will find a pretty smart comedy that entertains nicely. I give Get Smart 4 out of 5 tiny harpoons.

Review copyright 2008 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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