(out of 5)
The classic Mel Brooks/Buck Henry television series makes it to the big screen brimming with big laughs that make up for its few surprises. Basically a lampooning of the James Bond-style spy genre, it stars the magnificent Steve Carell as a pencil-pushing analyst who longs to be a field agent for the secret government operation “Control” that employs him. He gets his chance when headquarters is attacked and he is needed to save the President from an impending assassination attempt by “Kaos”, a terrorist cell masterminded by the evil Terence Stamp. Carell’s work teams him up with super agent Anne Hathaway (colourless as ever) and the two of them head to Russia to put the badasses in their place…if he can figure out how to work his mega-gadgeted Swiss Army Knife first. Despite not being overly memorable, the film has comedy in spades, mostly thanks to Carell’s perfect timing and his portrayal of a very winsome character: hilariously inept but often surprisingly clever as well. Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) co-stars, along with Alan Arkin, who manages a few slick moments of his own.
Directed by Peter Segal
Cinematography by Dean Semler
Music by Trevor Rabin
Production Design by Wynn Thomas
Costume Design by Deborah Lynn Scott
Film Editing by Richard Pearson