The slick new version of the dusty 1960s television comedy Get Smart is one of the better TV adaptations to come along in recent years. It's faithful to the original without being overly reverential, it modernizes the premise without mocking it, and you can fully enjoy it even if you've never seen the TV series. Oh, and best of all -- it's funny.
Steve Carell deserves much of the credit for that, easily rebounding from the dubious Evan Almighty (which I thought was OK, thanks to him) and reminding us of the 40-year-old virgin we fell in love with. Carell is a master with awkward, inept characters (as he demonstrates week after week on The Office), and Maxwell Smart proves to be a perfect fit for his skills. Or maybe he's just so good that he can make ANY character seem like it was tailor-made for him.
Maxwell Smart, as you may know from the shticky old show created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, is an agent for CONTROL, a secret government organization that's even more under-the-radar than the CIA. The public was told that CONTROL was disbanded when the Cold War ended, but it continues to operate secretly in the customary underground facilities. (Washington D.C. would have to be completely hollow to house all the various fictional government groups whose headquarters are under its streets.)