Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2008. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Mosaic Media Group, Mad Chance, Callahan Filmworks, Atlas Entertainment, WV Films IV. Screenplay by Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, based on characters created by Mel Brooks, Buck Henry. Cinematography by Dean Semler. Produced by Michael Ewing, Alex Gartner, Andrew Lazar, Charles Roven. Music by Trevor Rabin. Production Design by Wynn Thomas. Costume Design by Deborah Lynn Scott. Film Editing by Richard Pearson.
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.