Written by Tammy Walro
July 31, 2008
“Get Smart” – (Warner Bros – 110 min – PG-13).Would you believe I thought this would be another TV to big screen flop?
Would you believe Steve Carell is perfect in the role made famous by the late Don Adams?
Would you believe this is a laugh riot filled with great special effects?
The answer to all three is a resounding “yes.” Past efforts to bring small tube hits to super-surround sound theatres has been futile for most titles, but apparently the producers of this effort took their time to make this a suitable money maker for this year’s endless stream of summer hits.
Carell, as Agent 86 (Smart) is taking his field agent test for the eighth time (but I always thought he was a field agent). Verbally abused by several of his co-agents, Smart has been an analyst for C.O.N.T.R.O.L., the world enforcement agency led by “The Chief” (Alan Arkin), but this time on a secret level hidden in the walls of a local museum. Smart is teamed up with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) and they embark on an assignment to seek out a nuclear plot by sinister agents of K.A.O.S. led by Siegfried (Terence Stamp), who answers to an unseen villain heard only over a microphone in a disguised voice.
Shoring up the efforts of the good guys, we also have Agent 23 (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnston) and two giddy but cute tech geeks (Masi Oka and Nate Torrence), not to mention a great cameo from comedian Bill Murray.
All in all, the picture is lots of fun with numerous quips between 86 and 99, a giant-sized bad guy who winds up becoming their ally and a land chase that involves SUVs, trains and more.
The film could be a tad shorter with some scenes deleted but I still give this sparkling entry 3 of 4 film reels. Sorry about that, folks.
“WALL-E” (Disney/Pixar – 95 min – rated G) So long, R2-D2 - you have been replaced by Wall-E, a cute little robot/droid that is cleaning up the Earth little by little each day due to massive amounts of trash that have left our planet void of life.
What humans there were have now been living on a gigantic spaceship for the last 800 years, with everyone letting machines do their work for them while the humans get fatter and lazier each day. When a probe robot named Eve shows up at Wall-E’s doorstop, the two link up quickly as friends and more. Wall-E gives Eve a life form in the shape of a small plant and she is whisked away to the mother ship for analysis and the ship’s return to Earth for inhabitation – but the ship’s master computer has other plans and attempts to keep the ship in orbit for eternity.
Wall-E, who has stowed away on the ship in his quest to stay with Eve, opens the eyes of the ship’s captain and an on-board battle ensues between machine and man.
Pixar and Disney were smart not to break up as was rumored some years back and the union between the two industries remains as powerful now as when they started with “Toy Story.” These money-making releases seem to charm even the oldest person, especially when a cute little short subject is introduced at the beginning like this one, titled “Presto the Magician and his Magic Hat.” It’s only a few minutes long but worth getting to the theatre early to see before the main film.
Definitely, the summer’s biggest money-maker in the long run. Rating: 4 of 4 film reels.