I saw Get Smart the weekend it was released in theatres, but I haven't had time to really gather my thoughts about it until now.
When I was a kid I watched reruns of the 1960s television series on Nick at Nite all the time (it aired either right before or right after Dragnet, I can't remember which). It was a comedy, so the show at times could be very silly, but it was also filled with classic one-liners delivered flawlessly by Don Adams. I've discovered that if a TV show or movie doesn't have good dialogue, I probably won't like it. High quality writing is very important to me. It's probably why I like Aaron Sorkin's work so much...every line is carefully constructed. That being said, The movie version of Get Smart, while hilarious, doesn't deliver dialogue that meets my expectations. It just wasn't the same as the TV series, but I didn't really expect it to be. The movie has a ton of action, which is fine if you're into that kind of thing. I think that's what bothered me the most...they turned this cute little 60s comedy into a big-budget action film.
Despite all the film's problems, the acting was actually really great. I love Steve Carell in pretty much everything. He's just all-around fantastic. And in Get Smart, he becomes Maxwell Smart, if you know what I mean. He immerses himself in the character. Everything from his mannerisms to his facial expressions to his slightly nasal voice harken back to the TV show. And when he says Max's famous line, "Missed it by that much," he sounds exactly like Don Adams. I'm not kidding. Steve must have spent a lot of time watching footage from the show.
I also enjoyed Anne Hathaway as the savvy Agent 99. She is a lot younger than Barbara Feldon's TV version of 99, really too young to play opposite Steve Carell. But, they give an interesting explanation for the age difference toward the beginning of the movie, which was a very smart idea in my opinion (I won't give away that plot point in case you haven't seen the movie yet). Anne Hathaway plays 99 as a much more sarcastic, snarky character than Barbara Feldon did in the original series, but it works well for this modern day take on Get Smart. I especially love the snappy banter between Max and 99 in the movie, but everyone knows I'm a sucker for banter (Josh & Donna! Yay!).
So...three out of four stars from me? Yeah, sounds about right.