Movie Review: Get Smart

Fun and action packed in one


Secrets don't make friends, but occasionally secret agents do. Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 are the front-line team for CONTROL, the last U.S. Cold War agency. Will they find friendship in the barren hills of Russia, or just yellow cake? Discover the shocking truth about CONTROL, its agents, and this sugar-based bread product in "Get Smart," America's newest spy movie.

Steve Carrell stars as Maxwell Smart, a CONTROL analyst famous for his 500-page reports on the carb-intake of the enemy. Max believes that he is ready to leave muffins and cappuccinos behind to search for "uranium yellow cake." The Chief disagrees, but when a security breech compromises all of the agents, only Smart and the two-faced Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) can be sent. Despite 99's misgivings, the two head to Russia. From the beginning Smart leads the way, taking Agent 99 first to a restaurant popular with evil Russians and then to a bakery where yellow cake is made. Uranium yellow cake.

On the whole, you have to appreciate the flexibility of the two stars. Carrell and Hathaway have come from "the office" and the fashion industry, going undercover with the help of telephone shoes and exploding dental floss. Literal flexibility is clearly important, too. After a brisk morning 4:50 mile and a gymnastics routine over a floor criss-crossed with lasers, the two still have enough steam for an evening dance-off in a Russian ballroom.

Get Smart is a cool satire with a ring of 007 and Jason Bourne. Its jokes are fresher than last spring's comedies, and the fast-paced storyline decreased its reliance on the gag effect. The filming is good, and, although it is not likely to win Best Picture, "Get Smart" had some great action scenes: a couple of explosions may shock, though not more than Bill Murray acting as an agent whose post is the inside of a tree. Although I was laughing throughout the film, I also kept feeling that I was watching one of the summer's first action blockbusters.

Whether contending as light entertainment or as the return of a beloved TV show, "Get Smart" is unlikely to blow its mission. Don't let it "miss you by this much."

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