Between 1965 and 1970, Get Smart was a witty TV satire of the spy genre. This movie reincarnation is simply a vehicle for Steve Carell’s affable nerd persona - and even at that humble task, it struggles.
Mr Carell plays pen-pusher turned field agent Maxwell Smart. He’s fine at the slapstick stuff, but the banter between him and Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) is as flat as Lidl’s cola.
It’s not all Carell’s fault, though. Casting Anne Hathaway as a gun-toting action babe makes about as much sense as making The Rock an undercover agent.
Oh wait, they did that too. If only the action sequences were more original, there’d be something to fill the interminable tedium between the genuinely funny bits (Bill Murray disguised as a tree, for example).
As it is, forget shoe phones - the world’s coolest gadget is the skip button on your DVD remote. Extras include deleted scenes and bloopers.
Ellen E Jones