Get Smart (2008 movie)—Many Kinds of Humor

Get Smart
Get Smart

Get Smart is a movie based on the ‘60s parody sitcom tv series of the same name. The movie follows Maxwell Smart, the best analyst in the US government secret agency CONTROL. When the identities of CONTROL’s secret agents are leaked by a mole, Max finally gets his dreamed for promotion to agent.

1—The Humor

As stated above, there are many kinds of humor in Get Smart. Slapstick, situational, puns and wordplay, etc. But it’s all character driven. I liked most of it, but as with all humor, your mileage may vary. Max—played adeptly by Steve Carell—is at the heart of much of the humor, as befits the main character, and some of my favorite moments come from his outspoken candor and self-honesty. But everyone else gets their moments too.

2—The Plot

The plot takes several twists and turns, the identity of the mole in CONTROL of course being one of them. There’s the setup, of course, Max’s normal life, followed by a memorable flight, an infiltration that includes an awesome dance scene, and a trip to a bakery. But it’s also a fairly straightforward stop-the-bad-guy-save-the-day plot, which works well for the runtime of a movie. Unfortunately we never to get to find out the motivation of the guy who hired the bad guys.

3—The Characters

My favorite character might well be The Chief—played by Alan Arkin (“Speak up sonny, I’m an old man.” after he punches out a mouthy Secret Service agent)—followed equally by Agents 86 (Max) and 99—played by Anne Hathaway. All the characters have good chemistry and play off each other well.

It was also nice to see a character, Max again, who espouses understanding and humanity as a way to get information out of people rather going straight to torture. I know torture would probably be beyond the movie’s rating, not to mention killing the fun mood, but I didn’t see Max’s take on handling people and enemies as being played for laughs in itself. It is, in fact, Max’s appeal to the humanity of his enemies and making a friend that lets him save the day.


Get Smart was a fun and funny movie that pays homage to its reference material. I enjoyed watching it and will watch it again at some point.

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