The difference between Get Smart and many other spy comedy films such as Johnny English is that the main character Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is not incompetent. The film doesn’t have to tortuously explain why an imbecile is placed in charge of saving the world. Instead it chooses to create an unlikely situation that grants CONTROL analyst Smart his dearest wish of becoming a field agent. Smart’s inevitable pratfalls are the result of inexperience rather than inability. This makes it easier to sympathise and identify with him, and makes the film’s humour feel very comfortable — like you’re laughing at a friend.
And Anne Hathaway looks nice, too.
Good to see you back reviewing on the blog, I get a little drop of happiness when a sunpig review ends with a comment on the leading lady of a film.
So three and a half stars are for those less than worthy but fun films that are good for passing the time but don’t necessarily advance the art form ?
I wonder (out loud) that that Halo “novel” I read recently would be a three and a half.
I must write out a complete description of what all my star ratings mean. I do actually have rigorous definitions that I try and stick to!
As for Anne Hathaway – I feel bad about dismissing her performance with the kind of off-the-cuff remark I usually reserve for eye candy appearances. She’s a decent comic actress, but the film is not about her, and Steve Carell gets all the good bits. Although her character, Agent 99, is allowed to be strong and capable, and is Maxwell Smart’s senior officer, she ends up being the sidekick. A missed opportunity, perhaps.