I had a bad feeling about this…
Probably my two favorite tv comedies of all time are The Odd Couple and Get Smart. The OC, of course, started on stage and made its way to the big screen, and ultimately the tv screen. Get Smart started on the tv screen and had a very successful run, and back around 1980 made it to the big screen in a forgettable film called The Nude Bomb.
The Nude Bomb brought Don Adams back to the role that he made famous, and indeed the role that made him famous, Control Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. Unfortunately, he was the only major cast member to return, and the loss of Barbara Feldon/Agent 99 and Edward Platt/The Chief really hurt the film.
In the late 1980s, however, a much better reunion film was made for television, Get Smart, Again!, reuniting as much of the original cast as possible. It’s released on DVD and usually in the $1 bin at Walmarts across the fruited plain – well worth the investment!
I love the original so much that I winced when a couple of years ago I heard that Hollywood was doing what it does worst, and making a big-screen, big budget Get Smart film. They almost always screw these things up, so why would Get Smart be any different?
Then I heard that Steve Carell was cast as Agent 86. While I am not a big fan, he seemed like a great choice given the current climate and talent pool. Alan Arkin as The Chief – seems like a good fit, and I can definitely see Max testing his patience! Anne Hathaway is easy on the eyes but seems a bit young for the top-shelf Agent 99. Duane ‘The Rock’ Johnson also seems perfect as Agent 23, a character created for the film: Control’s most capable and suave agent, and Max’s idol.
A glimpse at IMDB’s page reveals many old favorites in the cast of characters. Terrance Stamp as Seigfried – great choice! And Bill Murray as Agent 13, the Control spy who would always get assigned tight covert spaces. The pieces seem to add up, and I resolved to be of open mind and look forward to the film’s opening on June 20, 2008.
Though they haven’t begun marketing the movie in the states, I found both the teaser trailer and extended trailer for some international markets available on YouTube! So I checked them out.
Click #2 & #3 and Press Play
Get Smart (2008) Teaser
Get Smart (2008) Trailer
Gotta say, I feel even better about the project after watching these two clips. Maybe it’s just a combination of hopefulness and gullibility on my part, though. I did hear that a rough cut of the movie was screened back in the Fall and tested horribly, enough to force the filmmakers to go back and redo some scenes. Usually not a good sign, but I am still hopeful.
Based on the clips. it seems faithful to the kind of humor that made the original tv series one of my favorites. In particular, that ‘element of surprise’ joke made me laugh quite a bit.
I suppose the question is, “Do audiences in 2008 want that?” I hope they do.
Wait and see…
PS – Anyone care to opine – the narrator of the shorter teaser sounds a lot like Leonard Nimoy, which would be a nice tie-in with another one of my favorite spy tv series, Mission Impossible. Anyone else think it sounds like ol’ Spock?