Stories for June 21, 2008
At first glance, the casting of Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart seemed a smart choice. I couldn't think of anyone else who could revive the cocky idiot savant that Don Adams had created back in 1965. Adams' Maxwell Smart was created to satirize the wildly popular spy films of James Bond. Adams played the inept, bumbling and perpetually confused yet unexpectedly successful Agent 86.
The appealing thing about Mike Myers and the comedy he writes is that it's basically good-natured -- dumb but good-natured. Think about Wayne Campbell or Austin Powers. They are goofy likable characters that never display any real mean-spiritedness. Even if they do lash out at someone, it's usually more silly than vicious. Myers' work falls into the pot comedy genre where even bad guys don't come across as that bad, and there's a loopy surreal quality to the comic world created.