The film version of the 1960s TV spy parody Get Smart can’t decide if it's an action flick or a comedy, and it shows. It’s “an action comedy that represents the worst of both worlds,” Mick LaSalle writes in the San Francisco Chronicle—“as funny as a gently smiling mime” while “bloated, confused and convoluted” in the manner of bad action movies.
Manohla Dargis admits in the New York Times that the “movie is far from terrible: it’s amusing in spots”—and star Steve Carell’s “deadpan and implied decency” give the movie a much-needed boost. Still, watching the cast “run amok just gave me the creeps,” Dargis notes. Overall, writes Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times, “Get Smart yearns to be something it's not.”