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Film Clips 

Capsule reviews of recently viewed films

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GET SMART 2 stars (PG-13) In this adaptation of the 1960s sitcom, eager espionage analyst Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is paired with gorgeous Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) to track down Russian nuclear material. With supporting players including Alan Arkin as the slow-burning chief, the spy spoof features smart casting but can't decide whether Carell's role should be likably naïve or a bumbling, overbearing know-it-all like Don Adams in the original show. Get Smart's fat jokes and lumbering stunt scenes evoke the lame action-comedies of the 1980s, and topical gags about subjects like airport profiling were funnier in Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. -- Holman

GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON 3 stars (R) Documentarian Alex Gibney applies the same scrutiny to the complicated issues that fueled his previous work, including the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, and applies it to that most complicated of journalists, Hunter S. Thompson. Though there have been plenty of works on Mr. Gonzo over the years, this one feels the most comprehensive, with a range of interviews of family, friends and (perhaps best of all) his enemies. -- Simmons

HANCOCK 3 stars (PG-13) Will Smith plays hilariously against his slick megastar image as John Hancock, a superhero with Kryptonian powers who's nevertheless a drunken, surly jerk who causes more problems than he alleviates. The first hour or so of Hancock has a great deal of fun with its premise, which satirizes superheroes and misbehaving celebrities, and gives Hancock an amusing foil in Jason Bateman's idealistic publicist (now there's a contradiction in terms). The last section throws logic, humor and audience goodwill out the window, and no one catches the movie when it falls. -- Holman

THE HAPPENING 2 stars (R) An unexplained toxic event causes people to commit suicide en masse, beginning in Central Park and spreading throughout the Northeast. The question is, what happened to Sixth Sense writer/director M. Night Shyamalan? He presents a few eerie sequences in this unsatisfying "Twilight Zone"-type horror tale with heavy-handed riffs on 9/11 and environmentalism. Alas, he seems to have completely lost the ability to write or direct human beings we can care about and misuses such actors as Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel. -- Holman

HAROLD & KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY 3 stars (R) Having gone to White Castle in 2004, cannabis aficionados Harold Lee and Kumar Patel (John Cho and Kal Penn) are mistaken for terrorists, shipped to Guantanamo Bay and take a zany trek across the American South. The film pushes its R rating in every conceivable area in the name of rude humor, but also aims to defuse modern-day tensions over profiling and prejudice by taking stereotypes and turning them upside down. Rob Corddry overplays his role as a dim, bigoted Homeland Security representative, but otherwise the film shows affection for its characters and its country, despite the bad habits of either. -- Holman

HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY 3 stars (PG-13) Wisecracking outcast demon Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and his ghostbusting pals try to stop a pissed-off prince (Luke Goss) of mystical beings from waging war on the human race. Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro may be a visionary filmmaker, but isn't much of a juggler, and here he takes on more themes, subplots and running gags than he can handle. With Hellboy II, he'll have to settle for offering one of the most outlandishly stylish screen fantasies ever made. -- Holman

THE INCREDIBLE HULK 3 stars (PG-13) In this snappy do-over sequel to Ang Lee's sluggish, overthought Hulk in 2003, fugitive scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) seeks a cure for the anger-management condition that turns him into raging green giant. Transporter 2 director Louis Leterrier not only sets a fast pace and crafts plenty of CGI mayhem, he and the cast (including Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William Hurt) find the soap-operatic heart of the story. All comic book movies should be at least this good. -- Holman

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL 3 stars (PG-13) The latest Indy flick embraces the franchise's nostalgia for itself, but the sentimental streak seems justifiable given the 19-year interim between chapters. It isn't exactly a fresh film adventure -- an automotive chase through the jungle feels like an undisguised retread of Raiders of the Lost Ark's truck chase. But Crystal Skull comes across not as lazy, but laid-back, as though the filmmakers have too much confidence to panic about trying to top the earlier films, or compete with their younger selves. -- Holman

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