Summer blockbuster tally, part 4

I liked the original Get Smart, I like Steve Carell, and I like Anne Hathaway (she brings honor to our name!). Combine them and what’s not to love, right? Alas, this logic is wrong.

I did not like the movie Get Smart. I think probably the main problem is that the original TV series was so iconic that it was impossible to not compare the two (and find the movie lacking). The things that were funny were all things that were directly inspired by the series (i.e., the cone of silence will never NOT be funny), although I think I laughed the hardest at a short gag (literally) involving Max in a fighter jet which is not usually my sort of humor. And I know it’s unfair to expect Carell to do a Don Adams impression, but everytime he said ‘Missed it by that much’ or ‘Would you believe…’ it just wasn’t the same without Adams’ distinctive voice.

And, I don’t know why, but they completely changed the characterizations of the characters! I remember most of the humor coming from the fact that Max is pretty much a bumbling idiot who only succeeds due to the cleverness of those around him (usually 99), but he doesn’t know he’s a bumbling idiot (and those around him don’t think any less of him for being one). Also, 99, while being able to totally kick ass which was cool, was fairly unlikable for most of the movie – it probably doesn’t help that I don’t think Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell have very good romantic chemistry – the vibe I get from them is more favorite uncle-favorite niece, so it was pretty creepy to have them get together. And it sort of seemed like they were both playing the role of the straight man which doesn’t really work in a comedy. And I think the movie couldn’t decide if they were making a comedy (which doesn’t have to make sense) or a clever spy-thriller (which does) and ended up splitting the difference.

Dwayne Johnson is cute as agent 23 and I thought Alan Arkin made a good, beleaguered chief. Masi Oka and…the other guy were were cute as the tech guys. I was disappointed in Terence Stamp’s Siegfried (the original actor cameos and he looks so good that they should have gotten him to reprise his role – no cameo from Barbara Feldon, though, and I’m fairly sure she’s still alive…) – mostly because in the series, the bad guys are just as inept as Max, but here, while not really threatening, they were mostly just bland.

So disappointing as a whole, I’d say, although it has made me want to watch the original series (even though I’m kind of worried that it wouldn’t be as funny as I remember).

Summer blockbuster tally = 2-1-1

ETA: In other news, I think Next-Door Neighbor is having a cocktail party. In the 1960s.


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