Knee-jerk review: "Get Smart"

1. Missed it by that much. It's enjoyable and often quite funny, but it's not as good as it should be. Not even close. Then again, the trouble the producers had with the adaptation shows how genius the TV show was. It was a satire, but also a action show, but also a situation comedy. It was like genre alchemy, turning lead into gold. The movie tries without luck to blend those elements, balancing big-budget action with broad, goofy comedy. It's painful to watch sometimes.
2. Steve Carrell is the perfect Maxwell Smart, of course.
3. And Alan Arkin is the man. The Cheese Fry would see him do anything anywhere. Here he gets some very funny lines, especially one involving a swordfish. Anyone else it's maybe amusing. With Arkin's wry stone face, it's hilarious.
4. But the whole thing is kind of a mess, especially a random act three twist involving Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
5. The filmmakers also make the bizarre decision to force some clumsy backstories onto Smart and Agent 99 to make their bonding all the more "plausible." He was fat, she just had her face changed. Weird. And even so, we're sad to report that there's just not a lot of chemistry between Carell and Anne Hathaway. Cutesy bickering doesn't equal romance, people.
6. The bathroom lavatory steel-dart scene is pretty good, though.
7. Nice use of the shoe phone.
8. The L.A. Dime called it: Anne Hathaway transcends the "hot" label. She, in fact, deserves the label "beautiful." It's ridiculous how good she looks.

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