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Get Smart (DQ)


Stars: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, James Caan, Bill Murray

Director: Peter Segal

You all remember that old TV comedy show about a bumbling special agent who won through in spite of himself? No? Well, I was never much of a fan, but this big-scale film version is just like it: jolly, lively, quite inventive, occasionally exciting, but not frantically funny.

Lugubrious Carell, though, is perfectly cast as poker-faced KONTROL analyst Maxwell Smart, who longs to be a field agent - as is Hathaway as the impossibly pretty, high-kicking Agent 99, who becomes his reluctant partner on a mission to Moscow. Johnson is the crack KONTROL agent Smart looks up to, Arkin their boss, and Stamp, in better form than of late, the mastermind behind KONTROL's enemy, KAOS.

There's some entertaining gadgetry, some hairsbreadth action - especially involving mountainous wrestler Dalip Singh, a cert for Moose Malloy in the next version of Farewell My Lovely, and an amusing dance sequence beautifully played by Carell and Hathaway, who try hard throughout. It's smiles rather than laughs here, but you won't be bored.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 20 Aug 2008