(2008/Warner Blu-ray + DVD-Video)
Picture: B/C+ Sound: B/C+ Extras: C Film: C
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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
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:
meantime, if you watch this new film, don’t expect much. They missed by more than that much. They missed the
- Nicholas Sheffo