Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
|Featuring:||Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, James Caan, Terry Crews, David Koechner, Masi Oka, Nate Torrence, Kenneth Davitian|
|Producer:||Bruce Berman, Steve Carell, Michael Ewing, Alex Gartner, Alan Glazer, Dana Goldberg, Andrew Lazar, Jimmy Miller, Brent O'Connor, Charles Roven, Peter Segal|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures|
“Saving the world… and loving it.”
C.O.N.T.R.O.L. lives, although reported to have disbanded after the cold war and K.A.O.S. still lurks a formidable foe to all things good and decent in the world. The famed red Sunbeam and the tailored 60's suit of the most famous agent ever to grace secret agent-dom, now resides under glass display cases in the Smithsonian and a new sticky-note pushing, iPod toting, Maxwell Smart longs to be just like him.
Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) has just passed his field training with flying colors, but to his disappointment does such a great and detailed job being the Chief’s (Alan Arkin) best darned analyst, he’s not promoted to be a full fledged Secret Agent.
As fate would have it, not soon after he gets the discouraging news, Smart finds Control Headquarters blown to pieces, all the Agents visually identified and unable to work even under cover, and he the only man trained for the job of finding and stopping the dreaded Siegfried (Terence Stamp) from Nukeing Los Angeles and the President (James Caan) of the United States.
The Chief teams Smart with his only other operative who’s face has been altered so she won’t be recognized, the beautiful and very competent, Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway). Together they are to uncover and stop Siegfried from stockpiling nuclear weapons to extort billions from the West. Demonstrating KAOS’s power, Siegfried plans to nuke L.A. where the President will be attending a Concert in his honor.
Meanwhile, back at Control Headquarters, the dashing Agent 23 (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is not fitting into his new role as ops analyst very well and is having fun beating up nerds and stapling papers to their heads.
The adventure whirls Max and Agent 99 from Washington to Russia and on to Los Angeles, with a big fight sequence in and between each local.
I feel as though I am repeating myself a lot these days, as the humor factor in many of my reviews of comedies of late is high, but the way in which the humor is portrayed, especially to Christian families, is objectionable. One would only know that the humor started and honed by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry would be profuse with sexual innuendo and wicked use of unacceptable language for very young children.
PG-13 for rude humor, violence and language is right, but I must add that it is still misleading, as impressionable pre-teen boys in particular should not see this film simply because of it’s reference to all sorts of sex and the action violence alone. I, for one would not want my young son to go around stapling papers to people’s foreheads in real life, thinking it was funny to do so. “Get Smart” includes lots of physical humor, that could be funny to an adult, but to kids who might try and emulate it, could prove harmful to other children.
In the beginning scenes alone a man is shot and falls out a window to his death several floors below, the building blows up and everyone in it is killed, and all through this film, even though a comedy, parents must keep in mind it is a spy film and people are seen being killed, shot, beat up using martial arts moves, and are constantly in life threatening peril.
Foul language is sprinkled freely through out “Get Smart” and includes: bi**h, whore, holy sh**, and even though some of these words are in another language, they are displayed through subtitles across the screen. A woman gives ‘the finger’ to a crowd of onlookers, Smart grabs Agent 99's breast on accident, and other lesser though no better uses of distasteful references that will send up a red flag to Christian movie goers are: while Maxwell Smart and Agent 23 are going through field ops training the other guys call Smart names such as “maxi-pad”, the words “go-nads” as well as “ball-sack” is used to describe the male anatomy. While Agent 99 and Smart are undercover as a married couple and are discussing their contrived back ground story, Max says the female cannot conceive because “her eggs could dry up and fall out her uterus.” Another reference was made to this by saying she has a “dusty uterus.” Agent 99 asks Max if he is looking at her butt several times, and butt humor is used frequently. Max is shown dancing with an over weight woman and he grabs her butt and the ending is centered around this joke which runs through out the film.
I could go on and on about these reoccurring symbols intended as humorous play through out “Get Smart”, but I hope Christian families consider this type of humor and judge accordingly as to whether they wish to see this film, especially with their 13 plus aged children, or not.
There are redeeming threads in the story, but I wish to stress that just because I highlight these themes here, does not mean I recommend this film to a Christian audience. I only wish to give them note as very positive elements. There is no sex, although a couple of kisses were exchanged between the Maxwell Smart character and the Agent 99 character. They are shown to truly care for one another and respect one another over the course of the film. The Smart character cares about his job and has a proud work ethic. He is dedicated to good and what is right and genuinely wants to save and preserve the country in which he lives. He has a respect for authority. Smart also will do anything for his friends and if that means giving his life, he is prepared to do so. Because of these qualities and his seemingly innocent take on life, all that he seems to botch overall comes about as right and good in the end.
Sean O’Connell of Filmcritc.com sums up the new “Get Smart” well:
“Remaking the satirical '60s spy sitcom “Get Smart” without Steve Carell in the Maxwell Smart role would have been pretty dumb.
Lucky for them—and, by extension, us—the creative team behind this rejuvenated Smart wisely tapped the unassuming funnyman to fill the late Don Adams’ telephone-disguised-as-a-shoe. Carell's nimble turn as a calculatedly incompetent agent of CONTROL ensures that this modern spin on an outdated television property—while rarely intelligent—is consistently witty.
Created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, “Get Smart” aired from 1965-'70 on NBC and CBS. It starred Adams as Agent 86, chief operative of a secret U.S. government spy agency that routinely battled the forces of KAOS.”
Full of funny adult themed sight gags and humor, the polished action sequences and better than average acting, brings “Get Smart” into the modern age. It is unfortunate that many Christian families will have to pass it by based on the limits they have set on their humor-meters. I suggest that discerning adults see it in theaters, and perhaps consider renting “Get Smart” when it comes out on DVD, using their best judgment and prayerful regard when family movie night comes around.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.