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Get Smart’ gets alright, not great

In the past years we’ve seen the recreation of classic television series like “Bewitched,” “Dukes of Hazzard” and “Starsky and Hutch”. Sadly, their efforts to revive the classic design of these series were less than pleasing. Sometimes among the handful of other forgetfuls, there are recreations like “Miami Vice” and “Mission Impossible” that have transformed their source material so well that they create entirely new experiences for their die-hard audiences.

“Get Smart” was one of those shows that had the elements of an action/spy series and the quick witted dialogue of a sitcom. With these qualities, “Get Smart” has everything it needs to be transferred into a summer blockbuster. Whether or not it is received by the audiences of young and old is up to how much of the source material is compromised for today’s fast-paced audiences.

In an effort to bring the biggest and best of today’s Hollywood market, Steve Carell embodies the title role of Maxwell Smart; a clumsy but intelligent analyst for the secret branch of the U.S. government, CONTROL. To get the most of this series, the story begins with Max’s first day being promoted as a field agent. Paired with the skilled and sensual Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), Max’s first assignment leads him into battle with the evil terrorist empire, KAOS.

To keep with the ideas of the original series, the film has the relationship of 99 and Smart at the forefront of their humor. When she’s not busy bailing him out of trouble, 99 is busy fighting off the advances of Max that are delivered with the familiar skill of Steve Carell. Much like his character, Michael Scott, from his own television series, “The Office,” Carell has a comedic charm that carries the film through its difficulties.

Like any typical blockbuster film, “Get Smart” handles its incredible cast with a poor effort. Spending most of its time worrying about whether or not the audience is satisfied with drawn out action sequences or humor, “Get Smart” has a hard time finding the appropriate stroke of character. What character there is in the film is short lived during the relationship between Smart and 99. However, “Get Smart” does a better job than most blockbusters by staying believable even in its goofiness. The action sequences, even with the availability of special effects, never go too far over the top to hinder the experience. If it does, it usually works as another gag joke.

With such an amiable and talented cast, “Get Smart” has high expectations like most summer blockbusters. Even though Terence Stamp and Alan Arkin are present to give a splash of classic acting flare, most of what we get out of “Get Smart” was already witnessed in the trailers and TV spots. Ultimately, it’s the fast-paced nature of the script that keeps this TV adaptation out of the dirts of the worst, but below the success of the greats.

LETTER GRADE: C

RATED: PG-13 for some rude humor, action, violence and language

RUNTIME: 110 minutes.

STARRING: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin and Terence Stamp.

DIRECTOR: Peter Segal

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