Directed by Peter Segal (PG-13)
The 1960s TV spy spoof is adapted for the big screen.
The big-screen version of Get Smart is “nothing you want to take off your shoe and call home about,” said John Anderson in Variety. The beloved 1960s TV spy series is natural material for a remake, but this one comes along a bit too late. Considering that the Cold War ended two decades ago, merely updating Get Smart for the 21st century posed a problem. Unfortunately, the original’s madcap comedy also gets “lost in the translation.” Maxwell Smart, as played by Steve Carell, is an “eager, sincere, sensitive” spy, rather than the “idiot-savantish secret agent originated by Don Adams.” All the show’s great “satirical gags and one-liners” have been replaced by stunts and stupid humor, said Kirk Honeycutt in The Hollywood Reporter. You can’t tell if the film is intended as a spoof of the TV show, a parody of spy movies in general, or just a vehicle for Carell. I suspect director Peter Segal himself doesn’t know, said David Ansen in Newsweek. His disappointing revision of a truly original comedy is a “classic example of missing the joke.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- 8 ways you're probably overspending without even realizing it
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should accept ISIS as a sovereign nation
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- 6 constitutional amendments that just missed the cut
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
Subscribe to the Week