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Jun 25, 2008

Fletch's Film Review: Get Smart

Adam over at Counting Down the Hours recently learned that a review of his had been blurbed recently for an Australian newspaper. Despite the fact that he has in-roads to this based on some of the places he submits his reviews, this makes me jealous. So, in the hopes of getting myself noticed by Warner Brothers (Get Smart's distributor), I hereby present some potential blurbs I've specially prepared for the film:

"Steve Carrell gives an extraordinarily keen, wildly inoffensive performance!"

"Moderately entertaining!"

"Like Austin Powers mixed with True Lies, just not as funny or daring as either!"

"You'll be blown away...by the sound of explosions!"

"Dwayne Johnson proves he's out to rock audiences!"


"Hathaway enchants this 40-year old series!"

Okay, that's enough of that. Fact is, there's nothing wildly bad about Get Smart. Unlike my thrashing of the smashy Hulk, I have no real vitriol to toss at the spy action-comedy. The problem is, though, that there's nothing wildly good about it, either. The blurb above about Austin Powers and True Lies is how I really felt walking out - it tried (unsuccessfully) to mesh the two, only to end up with a product that's neither an action movie nor a comedy. Instead, it meanders from one to the other, while never really giving you the jolt of a roller-coaster ride action flick or the slapstick comedy that comes from the inspiration.

What's left is a generic spy comedy that features a few shout-outs to the origin series, but mostly could be anything were the characters names different. Terrence Stamp steals the show despite being underused as the villainous Siegfried, as does his henchman, as does WWE wrestler Dalip Singh ("The Great Khali"), proving that big guys have feelings, too. His fellow former wrestler The Rock (Johnson) plays it cool, but is given almost nothing to work with character-wise, so you end up not caring about him in the slightest. Instead, you'll root for underdogs Masi Oka (Heroes) and Nate Torrence (coming a long way from playing "Moose" in Enterprise car rental commercials) as they battle office jerks David Koechner and Terry Crews. You'll also love the too-brief cameo from a certain SNL star of yesteryear.

But mostly, you'll just sit there and be mildly entertained for two hours. Woo!

Fletch's Film Rating:


8 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: Get Smart"

Clive Dangerously said...

From the first time I saw the trailer, I planned to see it, no matter what, just because Masi Oka is in it. It makes me feel good that he warranted a mention in the review, so I know it's more than just a cameo.

Rachel said...

I had just gotten a tattoo 30 minutes before seeing "Get Smart," so nothing could've been as painful as that...except maybe "The Love Guru."

But I liked "Get Smart" quite a bit more than most. Steve Carell always brings a human quality to any character he plays, which is one of a thousand reasons why I admire him, unlike his "Frat Pack" pals, Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller. Maybe they should rename their little club "Guys with 2 Ls in their last name.

Fletch said...

@ Clive - it's funny you should mention that. I'd heard about it when they were making this, but Oka and Torrence are actually stars of a spin-off movie that was filmed concurrently with Get Smart. IMDb shows a release date of July 1, which I believe is a Tuesday, which means it will be straight-to-DVD. Still, that's great news for the two of them, and I have a hunch it will be better than the original film. I might do a full post later to explain why...

@ Rachel - I certainly agree as it pertains to Carrell - he brings a humanity to his roles, regardless of their silliness. At the same time, I think that tends to make him a little less funny most of the time. It comes down more to the material.

Daniel G. said...

I would LOVE to see "Meh!" printed somewhere...

J.D. said...

My favorite blurb that I've seen plastered over countless ads has to be, "Instant classic!" or my other fave, "I smell Oscar!"

ceylincohomes said...

Last night, the local news came on and reported that the new movie, “Get Smart” took in like 49 million dollars over the weekend. My wife and I looked at each other in disbelief. My question is…..with gas and food prices the way they are today, who the hell has 10 dollars (per ticket) to throw away on the crap Hollywood puts in the Theatres these days!? Two tickets with popcorn and a drink is going to cost you at least 30 dollars. To see…..”Get Smart”?
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Fletch said...

@ ceylinco - While I feel your pain, I guess what sets my wife and I apart (and, I'd imagine, many other movie lovers/bloggers) is that "going to the movies" is where my entertainment dollars go, and I don't have a problem with that. We enjoy going greatly, even so much that we see some stinkers when desperate. Granted, we didn't expect Get Smart to be bad considering all the positive reviews, but we've seen much worse.

Also, if it makes you feel any better, our local theater chain offers $1 drink refills with a loyalty cup, and we get our popcorn free as well. So, it doesn't cost us much more than $20 a pop - still cheaper than most entertainment options.

Thanks for stopping by.

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