Get Smart | Chicago Reader

Get Smart

Remaking Get Smart without Don Adams and Barbara Feldon is like remaking My Little Chickadee without Mae West and W.C. Fields—the best possible outcome is disappointment. This big-budget comedy updates the action, with Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) and Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) battling the sinister KAOS as it tries to detonate loose nukes from Chechnya. The geopolitics haven't required as much revision as the gender politics: on the show 99 clung to Max's side, but here Max is a neophyte and 99 a hardened veteran busting his balls at every opportunity. This PC inversion robs Max of the crisp certitude Adams brought to the role, which was the comic linchpin of the series; all that's left is an assortment of recycled gags and catchphrases. Peter Segal directed; with Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. PG-13, 110 min.


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