1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
better than you would think,
This review is from: Get Smart [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)Ok so you look at this film and you see that it has The Rock in it and Anne Hathaway, it does have Steve Carell, but is that enough to save this god awful looking comedy? Let me tell you one thing, this is the film that made me think that next time I see that Dwayne Johnson is in a movie I might not automatically refuse to watch it. At face value this should be a throw away spy spoof, but Get Smart Works!
The reason Get Smart succeeds as a spy comedy is because, unlike the main character, newly minted field spy Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell), every other character performed their job competently.
This is not minor praise. The director makes both the comedy and the action pop with energy. He knows when to cut to a joke, and when to trust his actors to get the point home with their interactions. He's as comfortable staging a humorous ballroom dance competition as he is constructing a kinetic beat down administered by Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) to a couple of bad guys. The action scenes, particularly the hand-to-hand fight scenes, aren't treated as comedy, but as tense and exciting set pieces.
The cinematography balances the brightness required for comedy and the darkness needed to add tension with unobtrusive professionalism.
Quite simply this is on par with films like Mr & Mrs Smith and True Lies . Every one of the actors understands that playing it "straight" will get a bigger laugh than if they emphasized the comedy, and that allows the cast to play off each other like real people and not comedy constructs.
Even the throwaway bits of silliness usually have a second and sometimes a third layer to them, evidence that the screenwriters actually thought through the material instead of just bashing together a bunch of outrageous moments.
Get Smart isn't exactly memorable, and it isn't particularly deep, although it has a fair amount of fun taking the Mick out of the processes of gathering and analyzing intelligence in the age of George W Bush.
Get Smart is an action comedy about an inept spy, it's not a serious Oscar contender, or for that matter a trend-setting summer blockbuster, but what it is, is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of Hollywood product.