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Sunday, July 10, 2016

'The Nude Bomb' BD Smart, Maxwell Smart v. Weapon of Mass Disrobement

  • Nude Bomb: Aka the Return of Maxwell Smart [Blu-ray]
The awesome Aussies at Madman Entertainment once more boldly go where American studios fear to tread in releasing the REGION-FREE Blu-ray edition of the 1980 theatrical film "The Nude Bomb" (a.k.a. "The Return of Maxwell Smart"). This disc should play perfectly in a standard US Blu-ray player.

Aside from Madman making this release readily available in the US on July 15, 2016, one of the best things about this movie based on the classic Mel Brooks '60s sitcom "Get Smart" is that it is an exception to the theory from the Jon Stewart era on "The Daily Show" that television programs are television programs because they do not warrant being made a movie. It is equally awesome that "Smart" fans can have the fun of shouting out some lines ahead of the characters but that virgins to this universe will enjoy the film just as much.

The only complaint regarding the film is that Smart, played by "Smart" star Don Adams, is a quasi-swinging single without an explanation regarding the absence of spouse/fellow agent Agent 99 and their twins from the series.  Another disconnect exists regarding not explaining having future "MacGyver" handler Dana Elcar being the apparent successor to the job of Chief of Control, which is the agency of Smart. (Edward Platt, who played the Chief in the series passed away in 1974.)

"Bomb" follows the rule of quality film adaptations of television programs by making this version of this spoof of James Bond and other spy films and television programs much grander than the small-screen incarnation while honoring the spirit of the original.

"Bomb" starts off with a very Bondlike opening segment that has the titular secret agent battle and the maniacal villain of the film accompanied by an uber-Bond like theme. The primary variation from Bond in the opening minutes has the epic cold opening occur after the credits. This scene has a skydiving Smart engaged in mid-air combat with a group of killers.

On coming in for his briefing, Smart learns that domestic madman clothing designer Norman Saint Sauvage is working with international organization of evil KAOS in a plot to detonate a series of the titular weapon of mass disrobement. That device specifically disintegrates all fabrics currently on the marketplace.

The mission of Smart, which he does chose to accept (and love), is to stop KAOS from revealing the global naked truth. One of many awesome '70s elements of this caper is creating a "Charlie's Angels" vibe in the form of teaming up Smart with a trio of gorgeous and tough female agents. These gals are aptly designated 36-22-34.

Slyvia Kristel, who is best known for the titular role in the highly erotic film "Emmanuelle" plays the sultry Agent 34, Future "Matt Houston" star Pamela Hemsley plays Agent 36, and Princess Di clone Andrea Howard gets the most screen time as 99 substitute Agent 22. The awesome Rhonda Fleming contributes a touch of old Hollywood in a terrific cameo as a woman who assists Smart.

The worlds of Bond and "Angels" wonderfully collide when Smart informs 22 that he never fools around during a mission by always does after one.

In the case of "Bomb" (as well as "Smart"), the journey is the best part of the trip; Adams exceeds expectations regarding his bumbling through misadventures to keep the world safe from foreign and domestic threats. He further nicely delivers every "Smart" trademark that make the show so great.

The classic bits include the "would you believe" routine in which Smart tries bluffing his way out of a tough spot through a series of increasingly absurd bluffs regarding reinforcements, the "sorry About that Chief"schtick,  and the "That's the second biggest ____ I've ever seen" bit.

The use of "second biggest" further illustrates that the racier "Bomb" compared to the tamer "Smart" is more burlesque than vaudeville. Smart encountering a comically large zipper prompts the comment that that is the second largest zipper that he had ever seen. He then advises 22 to not look because there is no telling what will emerge from such a large fly. Another racy joke involves advice regarding the frequency of changing drawers depending on the severity of a threat.

The wackiness culminates in a final showdown that is much more "Austin Powers" than Bond in a lair that also reflects the style of the former. One spoiler is that the fallout from this showdown is hilarious.

The only disappointment regarding the extras is that the deleted and alternative scenes do not seem compatible with a US Blu-ray player. This may be an isolated incident; the hilarious theatrical trailer should play fine.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Bomb" or "Smart" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvddvdguy.