A comedy about a dimwitted secret agent? Mike Myers has already been there and done that in three Austin Powers movies. Which may be why Steve Carell's government operative Maxwell Smart has an IQ several notches higher than the character played by Don Adams in the popular mid-Sixties US TV show on which this film is based. For that matter, his companion Agent 99 has also had a makeover. In the original TV show, Barbara Feldon's character seemed to like nothing better than cleaning up Max's messes. Her big screen counterpart, played by Anne Hathaway, is by contrast distinctly unimpressed with her accident-prone new partner. The pair combine neatly in several slapstick sequences. Carell's surprisingly graceful mambo with a large Russian woman is one highlight, and there is also a rather belated but still amusing parody of Catherine Zeta-Jones's laser gymnastics in Entrapment (with the addition of a rodent down Max's trousers). The plot barely holds together - something about Russian uranium on the black market - but there are plenty of funny throwaway gags to keep the movie percolating, and Segal contrives a nifty action set piece for the climax.
Syria refugees settle in Zaatari with the help of a de-facto German mayor
A year ago, Syrians were desperate to leave Zaatari, now they’re choosing to return to the refugee camp and it’s largely thanks to one man, writes Sakhr Al-Makhadhi. Meet the German who’s helping Syrians build a city in the Jordanian desert
Death of a Hero: A decent man’s life spoilt by the ravages of war
Richard Aldington’s classic First World War novel, which first appeared in 1929 and has been languishing out of print for years, is being re-released by Penguin Classics to mark the Great War centenary, writes Malcolm Forbes.
Starting at Zero is a gripping read on Jimi Hendrix experiences
A richly illustrated biography of one of the world’s most influential guitarists is a gripping read, writes James McNair, despite impossible claims that it’s a ‘posthumous memoir’
Maverick Egyptian poet Ahmad Fouad Nigm was a fearless speaker of the truth
Kamal Abdel-Malek remembers his friend, the maverick Egyptian poet Ahmad Fouad Nigm, who died on December 3 at age 84.
UAE hopes to rival Hollywood film industry with Dubai Studio City
State-of-the-art sound stages and studios built in Dubai to attract movie and television projects are fully booked until mid-March, writes Tahira Yaqoob
In pictures: DIFF 2013 wraps
The Dubai Film Festival 2013 comes to a roaring and successful finish. We look back in pictures.
- Palestinian feature Omar makes the Oscars shortlist for Best Foreign Film
- A good year for obituary writers
- Disney’s wintry fairy tale Frozen, starring Kristen Bell, is out in UAE cinemas
- Welcome return: Anil Kapoor is no stranger to the lush life in Dubai
- Baz Luhrmann pitches TV series about the roots of hip-hop in NYC
- Abhishek Bachchan: I can’t emulate my father’s stardom
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