Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Funny Adaptation (rated 4 stars)

by Peter Segal

I don’t really remember when I first saw the “Get Smart” tv show and the catchphrases and style of the show was part of my pop culture awareness for as long as I can remember. With an adaptation of a 60s tv show it can strictly follow the template of the original or update things or go for camp. With the new Get Smart they rather surpringly manage to capture the spirit of the original while allowing the cast to bring something new to the characters. Steve Carrel works wonderfully as Maxwell Smart and doesn’t imitate Don Adams’ Smart, but manages to capture more of the attitude of his character, in a similar way to Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There. Carrel somehow manages to walk in a distinctive way that is perfect for the character. The film has a few clever nods to the original, but it wisely avoids becoming something exclusively for fans. It’s very funny and my son (who didn’t know about the original series) and I laughed a lot. It was a pleasant surprise and a very fun summer movie.