American Maxwell Smart works for a Government spy agency in an administrative capacity. When the agency's head office is attacked, the Chief decides to assign Maxwell as a spy and partners him with sexy Agent 99, much to her chagrin. The duo nevertheless set off to combat their attackers by first parachuting off an airplane and landing in Russian territory - followed closely by an over seven feet tall, 400 pound goon, known simply as Dalip. The duo, handicapped by Maxwell's antics, will eventually have their identities compromised, and may be chalked up as casualties, while back in America their attackers have already planted a bomb that is set-up to explode in a concert.Written by
Max's pseudonym when he infiltrates KAOS, "Nudnik Shpilkes", is actually two Yiddish words that have crept into the English language. "Nudnik" means an annoying person (like the word "noodge") and "Shpilkes" means impatience or agitation. An appropriate description of Max at that point, from KAOS' point of view. See more »
The Score of Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th Symphony would not be titled "Ode to Joy". The "Ode to Joy" is the name of Friedrich Schiller's poem, which Beethoven based the Ninth on, found in Beethoven's sketch books, at the end of the fourth movement. The correct title would be 'Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral"'. See more »
The first 10 minutes or so of "Get Smart" are kind of disappointing, and I thought "here we go, another trailer that makes the film look better than it is". But it improves greatly after that point, mainly after the first encounter of Max with Agent 99. Anne Hathaway is in some ways the life of this movie: she is incredibly sexy, with a magnificent back and legs to die for (or by), and completely believable in all her action scenes. Steve Carell has good comic timing; he may at times remind you of Leslie Nielsen in "The Naked Gun" and "Spy Hard" mode, but beyond that he manages to make Max a genuinely likable and human character, not just a cartoon. The relationship Max and 99 have formed at the end of the movie seems to be based more on friendship than anything else. The rest of the cast is generally well-chosen (although I didn't get the point of Bill Murray's 1-minute cameo); there is a big plot twist that allows one cast member to play against type, and even Dalip Singh (aka The Great Khali in WWE) comes off well, playing a huge indestructible henchman in the tradition of Jaws of "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker".
There are some good laughs in "Get Smart", but what pleasantly surprised me is how well-done the action is. From an exhilarating freefall sequence that was probably designed as a homage to the opening of "Moonraker" to Carell's and Hathaway's quick, efficient fight scenes (choreoghraphed by a veteran at this sort of thing, James Lew), and from the explosions at the "bakery" factory to the incredibly kinetic final chase sequence involving various means of transportation, the action in this movie probably surpasses the recent James Bond pictures, helped by the fact that a lot of it seems to have been done by the actors themselves, willing to take some risks. So people who are more into action than into comedy should still get some satisfaction out of this.
Nothing brilliant, but a dependable crowd-pleaser nonetheless. I'd give it *** out of 4 stars.
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