In a year that has been so far dominated by super-hero flicks, this Hollywood adaptation of Mel Brooks’ 1960 spy parody series Get Smart is definitely a breath of fresh air. For some it may seem like a Hollywood avatar of Johnny English. That however, would be a gross understatement. So how smart a movie is Get Smart? Let’s find out, shall we?
This movie brings two of the funniest men in Hollywood, Steve Carell and Alan Arkin, together for the first time since the Academy Award winning Little Miss Sunshine. Though this time it’s Carell who steals the show as Maxwell Smart, Alan Arkin as The Chief significantly adds to the laughter quotient of this movie. Carell is expectedly hilarious and will have you falling off your seat on more than one occasion.
But it’s not just Steve Carell all the way, the banter between Terrence Stamp as the villainous Siegfried and his henchman Dalip (The Great Khali), produces some of the funniest one-liners I’ve heard. Take for example this insult that Siegfried hurls at the big guy: “I’ve found a replacement for you…it’s called a rhinoceros!” One-liners apart, the 007 spoofs are seriously funny.
Overall the movie throws up more than a few laughs and some of the scenes are as funny as anything you will ever see. Consistency however is a problem. The love angle between Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 (Anne Hathway), though more funny than romantic is an unnecessary digression.
At the end of the day, Get Smart may not be as funny as Robinhood: The Men in Tights, Little Miss Sunshine or even the TV-series The Office but light-years ahead of duds like Meet The Spartans . Go watch this one, it’s unlikely that you’ll regret it.
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5.
What the Ratings Mean:
0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!
Kids (sniff) they grow up so fast! Wasn’t it yesterday that you held your mommy’s finger and waddled towards your first day and howled like a banshee when mommy waved good-bye? Remember how mommy said she’d be right back to pick you up just so you’d stop crying? High-school sure was fun na? What? Why are you looking at me like that? Didn’t everyone else do that too? Fine, laugh! I don’t care what you think of me. My mommy says I’m a big brave boy. Daddy too hopes this is true because I’m now in my final year of college. Now you may think I’m the cream of the crop when it comes to nut-jobs, but trust me, in my five years of college, there’s never been a dearth of weirdos around me to make me feel less like a freak. I’ve carefully observed such interesting fellow students and classified them under various categories with detailed descriptions written in point form in besht handwriting so that when I’m a big boy, I can get a Ph.D. Presenting a select few specimens from the vast array of weird college students!
1) ‘Aaj Kurt Cobain ki Punya Tithi Hai’ Species – To the untrained eye, these kinds of students may look like long-haired guys who have bad-hair days throughout the week. But upon closer inspection one notices a strikingly distinct trait about them – an old ragged faded black Nirvana t-shirt. It’s a different story that these guys know only one Nirvana song viz. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ (though they have no idea what its lyrics mean). They claim to be inspired by such deeply philosophical pearls of wisdom uttered by the great man himself such as ‘I feel stupid and contagious’. Apparently these guys have vowed to look perpetually depressed until Courtney Love, their equivalent of the devil dies and ‘goes to a lake of fire and fries!’
2) ‘The Transformers’ Species – These predominantly female species are known for a unique ability. The same sundar, susheel bitiya raani who leaves home covered head to toe with enough oil in her hair to cause barrel prices to rise, suddenly dons a new avatar when she reaches college and returns to her original avatar when it’s time to go home. In other words, sati becomes slutty and vice-versa. Recent research has discovered two variants of these species. The first one lacks the ability to transform from behenji to babe while the other cannot turn from babe to behenji again. These species are however in great demand for Balaji serials and TV shows like Roadies.
3) ‘Su Che, Saaru Che’ Species – These species were first confused with the predominantly gujju ‘Tera Tera Tera Suroor Species’, but in depth research revealed that they were in fact they were distant relatives of the ‘Aaj Kurt Cobain ki Punya Tithi Hai’ Species. These species are distinguished from the others thanks to their undying devotion to Cuban guerilla war hero Che Guevara. Che may have kicked the bucket nearly half a century ago, but these guys follow the maxim, ‘Don’t be a balti, continue buying Che t-shirts’.They also have extensive knowledge about Che. In fact a recent survey revealed that nine out of ten such creatures think that The Motorcycle Diaries is a show on Discovery Travel and Living.
4) ‘Dharna Zaroori Hai’ Species – These are extremely aggressive creatures usually dressed in white kurta pyjama and safari suits who love to socialize. Their favorite activities include designing catchy placards, making life-like effigies and colourful shoe garlands, painting things black and randomly setting fire to things. They actively surface only when colleges re-open and when Student Union elections are held. The rest of the time they remain dormant and utilise their time promoting signature campaigns that demand that easily pronounceable road-names be changed to tongue-twisters. They also can fast unto death (between meals) for days on end without much discomfort!