As a long time fan of the original TV show, and as a grown up version of the kid who used to memorize William Johnston's paperbacks ... as a former elementary school student who went in for as many tedious "Would you believe?" jokes as the legions of film critics writing about this week's box office success ... as all of these things, I'm not expecting anything more heart-breaking this summer than Get Smart. From the under-performing villain (the usually savory Terence Stamp) to the dull direction by Peter Segal, the film was a complete tick-off.

Richard Schickel spelled out his own disappointment in the opening paragraph of his review in Time Magazine:

"A schlemiel may be, must be, grievously acted upon by the always malevolent world. But he can never be permitted to act effectively against that world. At the end of his adventures he must, somehow, triumph over the forces of darkness that surround him - but only accidentally so...In that spirit of genial fantasy, we permit out surrogate that utter self-confidence, that sublime sangfroid, with which with he cheerfully motors his way around and through disaster."
categories Cinematical