Hilarious spy caper doesn’t need a sequel

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Hilarious spy caper doesn’t need a sequel

The continuous parade of entertaining movies this year shows no sign of abating.

“Get Smart,” a comedy spy film, adds to the list.

For anyone watching this movie, from pretty much the opening sequences, it’s hard not to fall about laughing.

In this review I’m not going to compare Get Smart with the 1960’s television hit series, which this film is based on, since I haven’t seen that progenitor.

So let’s just look at the relatively straightforward plot.

The true identity of the intelligence agency “Control” is exposed to its nemesis, “Kaos,” compromising the agency’s field operatives.

Kaos hasn’t seen much action for nearly two decades, and the same is thought about Control.

However, Kaos has been collecting uranium for the manufacture of large numbers of nuclear warheads that will be distributed to dictators, including Kim Jong-il, whose name is boldly spoken in the film.

This gives Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) the opportunity to become a field agent for Control.

Smart is an intelligence analyst who writes reports about terrorists that no one appears to read. For a long time Smart has been hoping to become a field agent. He failed to get accepted because he was obese.

Codenamed Agent 86, Smart teams up with the attractive but deadly Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), who is obviously more competent due to her previous experience as a field agent. The two sets off to stop Kaos from manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, while other field agents including the agency’s top gun, Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson) has to take over Smart’s desk work, which irritates the pants off both of them.

On one occasion, Agent 23 staples the forehead of a fellow agent because he didn’t fix the copy machine.

Like any movie released today, Get Smart has its own twist at the end, which may come as a surprise ? or not.

The great thing about this feature film is that it’s full of humor and action. The comedy itself is a healthy balance between slapstick and tongue-in-cheek. One of my favorite scenes is when Smart unexpectedly throws a telephone while shouting, “The element of surprise!” only to find the telephone cord too short to knock out his enemy with the receiver.

Carell does an amazing job as Smart. He makes the character more than just an arrogant, self-regarding agent. Instead, he transforms Smart into a lovable klutz, which makes it even harder not to root for him.

I would have to say other actors in this film are also well cast. There’s a lot of movie stars here film fans will want to see, including Terry Crews, who plays Agent 91; David Koechner, an agent called Larabee; Bill Murray, who makes a short appearance as Agent 13 hiding behind a tree; and James Caan, who plays the president, who would rather watch a man being tackled than sit through an entire concert.

Although Hathaway doesn’t have as many funny lines than the guys in the film, her action scenes are like riding a roller-coaster with the brakes loose.

As good as this movie is, I hope there’s no sequel. It is already a hilarious comedy worth watching. A sequel probably won’t do it justice.

Anyone remember what happened with the third installment of the Austin Powers franchise?

We’ll have to wait and see.

Get Smart

Comedy Action / English

110 min.

Now playing

By Lee Ho-jeong Staff Reporter [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]

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