A comedy about a dimwitted secret agent? Mike Myers has already been there and done that in three Austin Powers movies. Which may be why Steve Carell's government operative Maxwell Smart has an IQ several notches higher than the character played by Don Adams in the popular mid-Sixties US TV show on which this film is based. For that matter, his companion Agent 99 has also had a makeover. In the original TV show, Barbara Feldon's character seemed to like nothing better than cleaning up Max's messes. Her big screen counterpart, played by Anne Hathaway, is by contrast distinctly unimpressed with her accident-prone new partner. The pair combine neatly in several slapstick sequences. Carell's surprisingly graceful mambo with a large Russian woman is one highlight, and there is also a rather belated but still amusing parody of Catherine Zeta-Jones's laser gymnastics in Entrapment (with the addition of a rodent down Max's trousers). The plot barely holds together - something about Russian uranium on the black market - but there are plenty of funny throwaway gags to keep the movie percolating, and Segal contrives a nifty action set piece for the climax.
Film review The plot barely holds together but there are plenty of funny throwaway gags to keep the movie percolating.