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Get Smart is a American action comedy film adaptation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry's 1960s spy parody television series of the same name. The film starred Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99. Alan Arkin, who also worked with Carell in Little Miss Sunshine, plays the Chief. The film co-stars Dwayne Johnson, Terence Stamp, Terry Crews, David Koechner, Masi Oka, David S. Lee, Ken Davitian, Larry Miller, James Caan, Kevin Nealon, Patrick Warburton and Dalip Singh. Bernie Kopell, who played Siegfried in the original series, and Bill Murray make cameo appearances.

Plot

Maxwell Smart, an analyst for the top secret American intelligence agency CONTROL yearns to become a field agent like his friend Agent 23 whom he idolizes. Despite scoring extremely well in the acceptance tests, Max is denied the promotion as the Chief of CONTROL feels that Max’s analytical skills are best used for his present assignment. This changes when CONTROL headquarters is attacked by its arch-enemy, the terrorist organization KAOS, which is lead by a man named Siegfried, in retaliation for CONTROL's infiltration of KAOS. As a result, almost all of CONTROL's agents' identities are exposed, leaving only Max and Agent 99, whose recent plastic surgery has protected her identity, to pursue the culprits whilst former field operatives such as 23 are demoted to desk jobs. Max is promoted to field agent status with the codename Agent 86, but the experienced 99, who views the naive and bumbling but overwhelmingly enthusiastic Max as an irritating encumbrance, is reluctant to partner with him.

After a series of mishaps while travelling on a commercial airliner, Max and 99 enter Russia by parachute, hoping to trace KAOS’ recent acquisition of nuclear materials through its chief bombmaker, Krstic. Along the way, they are attacked by Dalip, a formidable henchman of Siegfried’s. By infiltrating a luxurious party hosted by Krstic, they trace the nuclear material (specifically Yellowcake uranium) to a KAOS nuclear weapons factory disguised as a Moscowmarker bakery, but Max is forced to shoot Krstic when he and his men corner them. In the bakery, Max meets with Siegfried and his second-in-command, Shtarker, only to learn that Siegfried was expecting him; a double agent has compromised his and 99's identities. Max manages to escape capture and bombs the weapons factory. During their escape, Max and 99 are confronted by Dalip; realizing that he knows Dalip through hours of listening to him on spy ‘chatter’, Max manages to persuade Dalip to spare their lives by giving him advice on how to repair his failing marriage. The Chief sends 23 to observe the clean-up of the factory, but KAOS manages to sneak the weapons out through the Moskva River, leaving 23 to report that only a bakery has been destroyed. Realizing that Max was alone during his key discoveries, CONTROL believe Max to be the double-agent; 99, who has been gradually falling in love with Max through their shared experiences, is heartbroken but takes Max into custody.

Subsequently, CONTROL becomes a laughing stock in the intelligence community, and their advice is disregarded when Siegfried threatens to release nuclear weapon detonator codes to rogue states unless the United States government pays him $200 billion. While Max is in a CONTROL holding cell, Dalip sends him a coded message via the radio show American Top 40 revealing Siegfried’s plan; as a ‘demonstration’ he intends to detonate a nuclear device during the President’s visit to a concert performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hallmarker in Los Angelesmarker. Max escapes from CONTROL, takes items from the original 1960s television series (such as the Shoe Phone, cars, suit and Colt Detective Special) and flies to Los Angeles to unite with the Chief, 99, and 23, who have flown out to persuade the President to take the KAOS threat seriously. Although 23 is skeptical, Max manages to convince 99 and the Chief that he is not the double agent. As KAOS plants the nuclear bomb in the concert hall, Max discovers trace amounts of radioactivity on Agent 23, revealing that he is the double agent. 23 takes 99 hostage, and flees, forcing Max and the Chief to give pursuit. Max reaches 23's car by jumping out of a plane and rescues 99, but in the struggle the car is set on fire and forced onto railroad tracks; 23 is killed when the car collides with a freight train. After analyzing 23's nuclear football, Max realizes that the bomb will explode with the final notes of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". Max, 99, and the Chief manage to reach the concert hall and tackle the conductor with seconds to spare, preventing the bomb from going off. Max is applauded for rescuing the president and every one inside the concert hall.

Cast



Marketing

A corresponding film, Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control (featuring Oka, Torrence, Miller, Warburton, Terry Crews and a cameo by Hathaway), was released on DVD on July 1, 2008, eleven days after the feature film's theatrical release. The film tells a standalone story that takes place concurrently with the events of the film (including a scene in which Agent 99 calls Lloyd to berate him for the poor quality of her gadgets compared to that of Max; that scene takes place immediately after Max accidentally renders himself unconscious with a blowgun in this film).

In addition to traditional television advertisement and movie trailers, Warner Bros. commissioned Pepsi to produce a flavor of Sierra Mist soft drink dubbed "Undercover Orange" to help promote the film. Warner Bros has also funded an online community called "CONTROL Vs. KAOS" where visitors can participate in contests and "missions".

A 7:45 minute promotional clip, featuring an action sequence of Max and 99 parachuting from an airplane, was released on iTunes as a free download.

The Subway restaurant chain held a contest where the winner would receive a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger.

Reception

The film received mixed reviews from critics. As of June 26, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 53% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 128 reviews — with the consensus that the film "rides Steve Carell's considerable charm for a few laughs, but in the end is a rather ordinary summer comedy." Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 54 out of 100, based on 34 reviews. Glenn Whipp of LA Daily News called it "staggeringly bad" and the San Francisco Chronicle stated that "it couldn't buy a laugh in a nitrous oxide factory with a fistful of clown noses." The film received positive reviews from Roger Ebert and Entertainment Weekly, however. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times also gave the film a thumbs up, saying that it was "one of the year's more pleasant surprises". The Los Angeles Times said "It neglects the laughs and amps up the action, resulting in a not very funny comedy joined at the hip to a not very exciting spy movie." It also received negative reviews from Time and Newsweek, with the latter stating, "it's not Maxwell who's clueless, but the filmmakers. Director (Pete) Segal is a comedy specialist lacking any apparent sense of humor."

Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $38,683,480 in 3,911 theaters in the United States and Canadamarker, ranking #1 at the box office and averaging $9,891 per venue.

As of December 21, Get Smart has grossed $130,319,208 domestically and $100,336,000 internationally, bringing its worldwide total to $230,685,208. Domestically, it is the highest grossing live-action movie for both Carell and Hathaway as lead actors. The successful box office performance of the film adaptation of the Get Smart series was absolutely the opposite of its previous film adaptation, The Nude Bomb, which was a box office failure.

Home media release

Get Smart was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 4, 2008. Two versions of the film were released: the theatrical version and an enhanced version that allows viewers to view alternate takes and deleted scenes placed within the context of the film. The film was released on DVD in the UK on February 23, 2009.

Approximately 2,088,163 DVD units were sold, translating to revenue of $34,652,714 (Blu-ray sales/rentals not included).

Sequel

On October 7, 2008, it was reported that Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures are producing a sequel. Carell, Hathaway and Arkin are set to return, but the status of other cast members have not yet been announced.

References

  1. ROTTEN TOMATOES: "Get Smart" Sequel Already Planned
  2. BevReview.com » Blog Archive » Review: Sierra Mist Undercover Orange
  3. CONTROL vs. KAOS Team
  4. Get Smart-2October 6th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta - /Film


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