Movies You Aught Not Watch: Get Smart
Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.
Dedicating the 2008 big-screen version of “Get Smart” to Don Adams was like killing a kennel worth of seeing-eye dogs as tribute to the American Council of the Blind.
Lest the insults not be spread to the deaf, it was a cruel irony that Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” became an integral part of such a dismal and soulless endeavor. Throw it on the Zeroes’ pyre of “I Spy” and “Bewitched” as misfired attempts to bring 1960s TV shows to 21st-century movie screens.
Series creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry served as “consultants” on this adventure of the bumbling spy Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell), sexy Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), Chief (Alan Arkin) and a cohort played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The ridiculously ramshackle script proves Brooks and Henry should’ve been allowed to pen it themselves. A thunderous climax impresses only as a loud alarm to rouse you from slumber.
Otherwise, it relies on a ridiculous amount of gross-out humor — start-stop urination, rats riding turds, copious fat jokes, lines about dried-out ovaries, Maxwell vomiting into a bag only to have it glop onto his face. It’s breezy all right, with something that wafted over from a port-a-potty in need of attention.
More cobbled than directed by Peter Segal, this hellish, humorless headache appeared to be compiled from workable takes. Adams died in 2005, but had he lived to see the “bomb” in “bombastic” here, it might’ve killed him. “Get Smart” didn’t just miss it by that much. It missed it altogether.