Half spoof, half credible spy movie, US funnyman Steve Carell's latest vehicle is sure to pack out the multiplexes.

The star of the American TV version of The Office and such big screen hits as Evan Almighty and The 40-Year-Old Virgin is perfectly suited to the role of Maxwell Smart – a super-smart analyst with ambitions to become a field agent for US spy agency Control.

When Control's HQ is attacked and their agents' identities are compromised, the chief (Alan Arkin) has no choice but to pair rookie Smart with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), who has recently had extensive plastic surgery.

Their mission is to thwart the latest plot for world domination by the evil Russian crime syndicate KAOS.

The newly remodelled Agent 99, who has years of experience in the field, is initially unimpressed with her new partner who is armed only with a few hi-tech gadgets and an unbridled enthusiasm.

Forty-six-year-old Carell's on-screen pairing with the 25-year-old star of The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada initially seems almost as unlikely but they actually have great on-screen chemistry – and Hathaway is surprisingly believeable as a kick-ass spy.

The characters' 20-year age gap is cleverly explained as Agent 99 admits her surgeon shaved off a few extra years when she changed her identity.

Get Smart is based on the Mel Brooks' created 1960s US sit-com of the same name. Director Peter Segal (Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult) has cleverly given the movie a sixties feel through the soundtrack, cars and clothing and the story is also pretty true to the series.

Making the Russians the bad guys complete with a cartoon-like creepy sidekick and gigantic henchman is a undoubtedly a cliché. Plus there are some recycled gags – such as the men's toilets scene which was used in Austin Powers – but mostly the humour is original.

Carell just has one of those faces that makes you laugh – particularly because he can stay serious even in the most ridiculous situations. Because Carell plays it straight we believe that Smart really can be both a fool and a genius.

Farcical scenes to watch out for include his disastrous attempts at firing a crossbow in a plane toilet, his dance with an obese party guest and his entrance through a seemingly endless number of vaulted doors to get into HQ.

Carell's comedy is only rivalled by techy geeks Bruce (Heroes star Masi Oka) and Lloyd (Nate Torrence) who, with Smart away from his desk, think they are the brains behind the outfit.

Considering this is a spoof there are a pretty serious amount of impressive stunts and gadgets – complete with state-of-the-art CGI – to keep action fans happy.

Expect a sequel to this highly entertaining comic caper.