Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Get Smart

Apologies for the temporary delay, due to a lack of interesting looking films coming out near the end of the summer. So here now I have the lo-down on Get Smart, which is the best comedy of the year so far, discluding The Happening. And this is not a long shot, well I suppose it is, but that is because Get Smart is pretty damn good. We'll open up for starters on Smart himself, Steve Carell. Carell brings to the film the instant likeability that comes with the man himself, creating a very human, but nonetheless humorous character in the vein of an amalgamation between Steve Martin (old Steve Martin), Rowan Atkinson (whose comedy will never grow old) and Bill Murray, himself making a cameo as Agent 13, an agent who hides within the bark of a tree. Carell has successfully joined the ranks of comedy's great straight funnymen. All other members of the cast shine, including Anne Hathaway as Agent 99, who serves her purpose, but nonetheless adds another dimension to what could easily been a very two-dimensional character. Also worthy of note is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who despite a very mixed career outside of wrestling, proves to add a great degree of humour to film, particularly in a scene involving a bald man's head and a stapler. Ken Davitian, best remembered as Asamat from Borat, provides some humorous scenes. Even Dalip "The Great Khali" Singh, most famous only being able to growl, provides a humorous character in Dalip aka Easter Island, essentially the other half of Jaws, aptly put by Terence Stamp that "his replacement is a rhinoceros. The screenplay written by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember, is suitably laced with wit, not giving the lesser actors too much to work with, but instead accentuating their positives. Director Peter Segal, a veteran of many comedies such as The Naked 33 and a 1/3, The Nutty Professor 2 and three Adam Sandler comedies for the first time gets control over his films. This opportunity for him to direct and not be a stand-in for the egos that be (Zuckers, Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler respectively) lets him call the shots and clearly he knows what to do, because he has directed a comedy for which he should be proud. The cinematography too proves to makes the film look spectacular, with some very good location and set shoots, asides from a few poor scenes involving CGI. The music also, in the vein of many "serious" comedy films is fittingly in cue with the action, proving a great parody/homage/tribute to the spy-action genre. Now to get down to a few things which are annoying me. For a film which is clearly very smart (no pun intended) and intelligent, how come after creating such a human character we can relate to in Maxwell Smart, do we see him dispose and kill many bad guys without the slightest emotion or expression, in scenes reminiscent of The Terminator. Also, regarding the emotional value of the film, while Steve Carell does manage to steal the film with his inevitable charm and likeability, with all due respect to Anne Hathaway, who I personally think is one of young Hollywood's shining lights, I found Agent 99 very cold and black hearted. And yes I know that is the point because she is bitter at blah blah (I ain't spoiling this movie). I just found it hard to sympathise with someone who was this cold and bitter at blah blah. Nonetheless I think that she delivered a fine performance. Despite these niggles, there is a great degree of emotional value to be sought from this film, a comedy which for a change is not laced with innuendos, drugs, sex, stereotypical views on people and the usual recipes for the modern (good) comedy. This film stands out as a very enjoyable comedy that the entire family can enjoy. Granted it is a 12A, but I think that there is only one scene that is slightly unsuitable, but I'm sure the kids would laugh at Maxwell Smart attempting to "pick up" a fat man. Overall, I think this may well be the best comedy that comes out all year.

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - 7.0/10

On The Topic Of Get Smart

Why after such scenes showing the humane Maxwell Smart, does he dispose bad guys like he's The Terminator?

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