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Stewart Smith

Get Smart: Movie vs. TV Series

Welcome to a slightly different type of review, a comparison. Today we will be comparing the classic TV show Get Smart and its movie remake.

For those of you younger guys who don’t know, the movie Get Smart (2008) was originally a TV series from the 1960′s. Maxwell Smart is a somewhat air-headed secret agent who works for Control, a secret spy agency, with his female sidekick, Agent 99. They battle an evil organization called KAOS bent on gaining power, taking over the world, etc. (This is indeed the show of bad puns.)

Click to buy the DVD on Amazon

The older members of our audience probably remember the classic TV series, running on NBC and CBS. Max was portrayed by Don Adams, Agent 99 was Barbara Feldon, and the chief was Edward Platt. The original “Cone of Silence”, as seen in a few episodes, was a huge contraption lowered over two people to soundproof them. Agent 99’s part was a weaker role, but she was generally more competent than Max.

Click to buy the DVD on Amazon

The new movie version of Get Smart is quite different. Max is now played by Steve Carell (star of TV’s The Office), Agent 99 is played by Anne Hathaway (star of The Devil Wears Prada and she recently played the White Queen in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland), and the Chief is Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine). The characters are now supplemented by a larger cast of supporting actors, including techies Bruce and Lloyd (Masi Oka & Nate Torrence), Agent 23 (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), and KAOS leader, Siegfried (Terence Stamp). Unlike the original,the new “Cone of Silence” is a high-tech, holographic thingy shaped like a cone.  Agent 99 has a strong female role.

The plot line of the movie features Max’s first real mission. After a nuclear attack on Control HQ by KAOS, Max and 99 go to KAOS’ Russian base to find out where they have been getting nuclear weapons.

All in all, I think the movie was able to put a form of variation on the series. It’s not entirely as much of a classic as the series, but is still just as fun an experience.

Age Recommendation:

Movie: Common Sense Media calls this 12+, but I can’t put such a limit on it. 7+, at the most.

Series: If the movie is hard to limit, then the show I simply can’t limit.

Final Verdict: Movie: 7/10 Series: 8/10


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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Joan Stewart Smith August 24, 2010, 10:21 pm

    We loved watching Get Smart on Saturday evenings! Maxwell Smart was like James Bond stuck in a wacky parallel universe! Critics loved the TV show, and it was also popular at the Emmy Awards. Get Smart won Outstanding Comedy Series three times! No one could beat Don Adams for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, because he won four years in a row (1966 to 1969).

  • Bruce Stewart August 24, 2010, 11:51 pm

    I hadn’t thought about watching the Get Smart movie. After all how could it compare? I’m gonna look on Net Flix tonight. Thanks, Stew.

  • MaryKay August 31, 2010, 8:53 pm

    Didn’t know the move exists. Now I do. Thanks. I truly want to see what is portrayed about the nuclear weapons. The threat in the 60′s was very real. Still threatening today so I would want to see attempts made to caution trigger happy people. Perhaps I will see it here.

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