Roman De Gare
Political Briefs

Get Smart

3 stars out of 5

Mel Brooks and Buck Henry's silly and trivial idea from the 60s (a stupid, bumbling spy), gets refurbished and, with no offense meant to Don Adams and Barbara Felton, greatly improved with Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99. Summary: Not as bad as the reviews (whereas, according to my daughter, Love Guru is as bad as its reviews, which makes me sad for Mike Myers, whose work I generally love).

In this iteration, Smart is not a bumbler and an idiot, but a naive genius. It still works for me. Several reviewers said there was too much action-adventure and too little humor. I'll agree with the first part; less blowing things up would have been fine. And we could have done without some of the touchy-feely. But there was plenty of laugh-out-loud fun too. Maybe you had to have been there for the original television series, as I was (I admit it--huge fan. Also loved its serious doppelganger, Man from Uncle). In this society, we get trained to laugh at comedy catch phrases (Wanna buy a duck? You eeeediot! Schwing. Now cut that out! Hey, Abbott! Tain't funny McGee) regardless of their context. So, that could be part of it. I admit, there were times when I laughed alone. But there were also enough times when all of us, young and old, laughed together that I can't believe it's just TVLand reruns.

Get Smart (the movie) is funny, good but not great. Go rent some of the TV episodes. Now that's Mel Brooks/Buck Henry at their unbridled best. Would you believe, their second best?