Remaking classic TV shows as feature films can be a hit and miss affair. For every Charlie's Angels there's a raft of Speed Racers, Dukes of Hazzard and Starskies and Hutches.
The producers of Get Smart have managed to tap into the winning formula, which is to have enough references to the original show so as not to look like a simple rip-off, but enough plot and character development so as not to seem simply like a long episode of the show.
Basically, you've got to keep the old fans happy without alienating potential new ones. And in Get Smart they've managed to pull it off.
Steve Carell inhabits the classic character of Maxwell Smart without it ever feeling like an impersonation, and Anne Hathaway plays Agent 99 in a way that nicely combines the character's Bond-girl origins with some thoroughly modern moxie.
The plot is typical Get Smart fodder, best not examined too closely and mainly used as setup for some great pratfalls, spontaneous fist fights and truly ridiculous gadgets (exploding dental floss!)
Happily, the presence of original series creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry (credited as "consultants") is obvious, with the plot never getting very far before featuring some gutbusting comedy.
A great movie, and a great tribute to a great show.
4 out of 5