Get Smart

Framed as a superhero-type “origin” movie, this reboot of the ’60s TV spy parody invents a backstory to explain how Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) went from being a CONTROL wonk to becoming Agent 99’s Inspector Clouseau-ish partner. While the supporting characters are all pretty much the same (Dwayne Johnson’s Agent 23 is a gung-ho doofus; Chief, ably impersonated by Alan Arkin, remains easily flustered), the chemistry between Max and 99 (Anne Hathaway has been inexplicably, pointlessly tampered with). A politically correct Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 takes all of the romance out of their comic equation. And yet, director Peter Segal (50 First Dates, Anger Management) brings a charmingly retro Spy vs. Spy vibe to the proceedings that’s a welcome antidote in this season of dueling comic book avengers. I just wish the producers had trusted their source material a little more. **1/2
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