Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Get Smart Misses by That Much, Guru Gets No Love

It's Love versus Smarts this weekend.

by | June 19, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got wacky spies (Get Smart, starring
Steve Carell and
Anne Hathaway) and silly self-help specialists (The Love Guru starring
Mike Myers and
Jessica Alba). What do the critics have to say?

Steve Carell has patented a very specific type of character: One who bristles with unearned self-confidence, fecklessness, and occasional decency and competence. Who better to update the role of Maxwell Smart, the most clueless of secret agents? Well, critics say Get Smart benefits from Carell’s screen persona, but falters when it delves into action territory. Stepping into the role made famous by
Don Adams, Carell is Maxwell Smart, an overeager and under-qualified spy who’s recruited along with the lovely Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) to take down KAOS, a sinister organization bent on world domination. The pundits say Get Smart is amiable enough, buoyed by a solid cast (including
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson,
Alan Arkin, and
Terence Stamp) and some solid laughs. But others complain it devolves into a generic action flick, missing the sharp satire of the original show. At 52 percent on the Tomatometer, Get Smart missed it by that much. (Check out pics from the Get Smart premiere

“I knew we should’ve taken that left turn at Albuquerque.”

After a long hiatus from live-action comedy, Mike Myers is back, playing a New Age spiritualist in The Love Guru. The critics’ advice to Myers: Heal thyself. An American raised by gurus in India, Pitka returns to North America to establish himself in the self-help game; his first undertaking is to help a hockey star heal from the wounds of a recent romantic breakup. The critics say The Love Guru is relentlessly juvenile, wasting a solid collection of players (including Jessica Alba,
Justin Timberlake,
Ben Kingsley, and
Verne Troyer) on shticky comic set pieces that lack rhythm or wit. At 13 percent, The Love Guru is less than enlightening. It’s also one of the worst-reviewed films of Myers’ career.

“Welcome to Being John Malkovich, LLC.”

Also opening this week in limited release:

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, starring
Abigail Breslin as a plucky Depression-era girl who solves a mystery and saves her family’s house in the process, is at 68 percent.
Expired, a dark indie comedy starring
Samantha Morton and
Jason Patric as parking meter officers in love, is at 75 percent;

And Brick Lane, the story of a Bangladeshi woman who experiences culture shock after an arranged marriage brings her to London, is at 60 percent.

“You can still get a job after Batman & Robin!”

Recent Mike Myers Movies:
42% — Shrek the Third (2007)
89% — Shrek 2 (2004)
12% — Dr. Seuss’ the Cat in the Hat (2003)
14% — View From the Top (2003)
55% — Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

Recent Steve Carell Movies:
78% — Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
23% — Evan Almighty (2007)
64% — Dan in Real Life (2007)
73% — Over the Hedge (2006)
91% — Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

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