Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Spoof > Spy > Get Smart (2008/Warner Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

Get Smart (2008/Warner Blu-ray + DVD-Video)


Picture: B/C+     Sound: B/C+     Extras: C     Film: C



The original Get Smart worked because it had the creative minds of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry sending up the Spy craze, intellectuals and conformity.  That was the secret of the series success and the revivals with original star Don Adams had been somewhat effective at best, but could not recapture the show’s wit and chemistry.  With Adams no longer with us, Warner Bros. hoped that a new Get Smart mighty work as a feature film and landed red-hot comic actor Steve Carell to play Smart opposite Anne Hathaway as 99 and Alan Arkin as The Chief.  The result was a moderate hit, but the new Get Smart never really works.


Brooks and Henry were creative consultants here and likely contributed the few jokes that worked, but the Smart/99 relationship here is goofy, childish and never has the chemistry or charm of the original.  Brooks himself said he was happy with this version because it did not try to be exactly like the original, but it replaces it with satire that never works, bits taken oddly from the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker, has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson a waste once again and Terrence Stamp wasted as a new version of the classic villain Siegfried (despite the original actor Bernie Kopell (who played him) making a cameo in this film in character!) adding up to a mess that is more miss than hit.


Peter Segal once again proves to be a hack comedy director and though I like Carell, Hathaway and Arkin (who played Inspector Clouseau in a one-shot film that did not work, but gets better screen time here than expected) the very mixed and muddled screenplay by Tom J. Astle & Matt Ember has zero understanding of the original show and why it worked (one of them reportedly said 99 was hardly in the original show and superfluous when she was the explicitly the co-star) and the attitude is partly sexist, even when it is covered up in dumbness.


The plot (what there is of it) involves Smart on his first mission after years of being an over-efficient bureaucrat for years in CONTROL, rumored to have folded after The Cold War but secretly alive and well.  He has to figure out if there is a traitor in their midst as Siegfried plots to destroy it.  Yawn!  We have to settle for hit and usually miss jokes, dumb gags and embarrassing moments that are quickly forgotten.  Yet, curiosity and the cast made the film a hit, but unless they do better next time, all should understand they will not meet with the same success and much less.  If that means replacing Segal and the writers, than so be it.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot with HD cameras (save some sky diving because the HD could not cut it) by Dean Semler, A.S.C./A.C.S., and he makes the best of the situation, but this is still too soft and color-challenged versus what he has accomplished in 35mm in the even recent past.  Too bad, because the original shows earliest seasons still look better on DVD and the anamorphically enhanced DVD of this release is even softer and more detail-challenged.  Both versions are only in standard Dolby Digital 5.1, though the Blu-ray has a slightly richer version.  Trevor Rabin’s score actually helps the film somewhat, but the mix is nothing special overall.


Extras are the same for both editions, save a game on the Blu-ray.  Both offer Digital Copy for PC/PC portable devices, a 20-to-45-minutes longer cut of the film, gag reel, piece to promote the straight-to-Blu-ray/DVD Bruce & Lloyd Out Of CONTROL release, three featurettes, Vomit Reel and The Old “I Hid It In The Movie” Trick showing where all the references to the original show are.  That one makes you want to watch the original series instead, which reminds us…


You can read all about Get Smart – The Complete Series in its new DVD box set we had the pleasure of recently covering.  It is one of the best TV collections on DVD to date and is even a great place to start before seeing this film.  Read more at:





In the meantime, if you watch this new film, don’t expect much.  They missed by more than that much.  They missed the boat!



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com