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GET SMART – Trevor Rabin

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Get Smart is a remake of the classic 1965 action/comedy TV series of the same name, which followed the comic misadventures of bumbling spy Maxwell Smart as he unintentionally outwits Russian agents and various bad guys without really having the faintest idea of what he’s doing. This version, which is directed by Peter Segal, stars Steve Carell as Smart and Anne Hathaway as his sexy partner Agent 99, plus Alan Arkin, The Rock, James Caan, Terence Stamp and Bill Murray in supporting roles.

The music for Get Smart is by Trevor Rabin, who is going through a quiet period in his career; the score is entertaining enough, but rather throwaway, consisting mainly of faux-heroic martial anthems (“Smart Dreams”, “Max Denied”) that sound like rejected cues from Armageddon or Backdraft, and are often augmented by rocking electric guitar solos. Some of the cues consist of little more than synthy ‘sneaking around’ music with electronic pulses and string drones and jingling guitars (“Cake Factory”, “Laser Hallway”), while others feature some occasionally quite obnoxious rock solos which don’t really enliven the album as much as make you want to switch it off.

The two big action sequences, “Max Calls 99” and “The Big Chase”, feature more of the sdtandard MV-style maybem where the orchestra clicks along at a decent pace, with the brass being doubled by the synths and kept in time with a thumping undercurrent, but it’s nothing we haven’t heard before. Several of the tracks – notably “Max Ejects”, “Skydiving”, “The Big Chase” and the four “Look” cues – feature re-arranged excerpts from the classic original TV theme by Irving Szathmary, while the cues “Agent 23” and the exciting “Rooftop Fight” feature additional music by Rabin’s regular collaborator Paul Linford.

It’s all quite inoffensive stuff, and fine if you like this sort of thing, and even better if you like Rabin’s style of writing over that of others, but from my point of view it passed by without leaving any kind of lasting effect.

Rating: **½

Track Listing:

  • Smart Dreams (1:51)
  • Get Smart Theme (1:31)
  • Cake Factory (2:59)
  • Theme (Look One) (1:49)
  • Max Denied (2:29)
  • Max Takes A Bow (0:54)
  • Dropping Like Flies (0:10)
  • Theme (Look Two) (2:15)
  • Agent 23 (0:33)
  • Max Ejects (1:54)
  • Skydiving (2:03)
  • Laser Hallway (4:02)
  • Entering Moscow (1:22)
  • Rooftop Fight (3:07)
  • Max Calls 99 (5:02)
  • Theme (Look Three) (1:14)
  • The Big Chase (4:59)
  • Wish We Had More Time (1:47)
  • Smart Exit (0:58)
  • Theme (Look Four) (1:18)

Running Time: 42 minutes 17 seconds

Varèse Sarabande VSD-6904 (2008)

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