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GET SMART, 2008
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GET SMART
Movie Review
Directed by Peter Segal
Starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway
Review by Eli Manning



SYNOPSIS:

Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, battles the forces of KAOS with the more-competent Agent 99 at his side.

REVIEW:

Based on a popular TV series in the 60's, Get Smart attempts to mix the two hardest genres -- action and comedy -- into one. And it succeeds in doing both.

I was constantly entertained from both perspectives as the two leads, Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway really nailed their emotional arcs while also surprisingly showcasing themselves as action stars. Who would of thunk! I figured Carell would give us the humor as Hathaway would play the dramatic love interest and kick some butt -- but they each do both, which was reason #1 why this was a successful film.

I never even heard of the TV show much less have scene a single frame, so I came into this film without any previous nostalgic perspective. Did Carell do justice to the previous actor who played Maxwell Smart? I have no idea. And perhaps that's a good thing.

This is a smart script written by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember, that crosses generations. Watching it in a packed theater of a mixed audience of people 8 to 70, I heard laughter come every age and sex. In fact, I laughed many times too which doesn't come that easily. We entered the whole of Maxwell Smart and his CONTROL team and we were entertained all the way on his journey.

Directed with efficiency, cheer, and humility (he didn't try to out flash us, which seems to be the trend these days), Peter Segal is a Hollywood director on the rise. Coming up the ranks in the Adam Sandler posse, Segal seems to have made his own individual mark and is poised to create a large body of work.

But the real star of the film in Anne Hathaway. I haven't been more impressed with an actor in a long time. She's set to be a big movie star. Coming from The Devil Wears Prada to Get Smart, Hathaway seems to be able to do anything. Her ability to show so much complexity and sweetness in her close-ups already makes her a top 50 actor working in Hollywood today. This is a woman who was born to be an actor and she seems to want to work as hard as she can to be as great as she can. Get Smart is one of my biggest surprises of the year. I was happy to be engaged as there is not one dull moment in the film. Perhaps more character development was needed for Agent 99 (played by The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson) in order for us to truly understand the ending, but that's me nit picking.

Now it's up to the audience whether they like it or not. If they do, then more sequel will be coming.

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