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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Nude Bomb
The Nude Bomb
Universal // PG // June 17, 2008
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted July 12, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised to see that Universal released The Nude Bomb when it did. After all, with the new Get Smart film, there have to be many rabid fans looking for more adventures of Maxwell Smart. From the dreadful remake of the show with Andy Dick to a side story of the 2008 movie featuring the Bruce and Lloyd, it seems the powers that be think Smart fans will fall for the old release of a crappy movie trick. That's right, The Nude Bomb was a terrible film in 1980, and would you believe it's just as bad now?

After watching The Nude Bomb, one really does have to wonder why it was ever made in the first place. On paper, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time: cash in on Get Smart's success with an adventure featuring Don Adams as Agent 86 fighting KAOS with all of his dull-witted charm, gadgets, and supply of signature quotes. Unfortunately, along the way, many of the components that made the original show so brilliant were lost or ignored completely. In the end, this turned out to be less of a Get Smart movie and more like a bad James Bond parody.

Though original Get Smart executive producer Leonard B. Stern was credited as being involved with the project, his influence could not be felt anywhere. It almost seems as though every ounce of energy that the Get Smart franchise enjoyed before was snuffed out by the powers that be. Clive Donner and company had the ability to fully explore the style of the show but chose not to for whatever reason. This path of decision making meant that very few elements in the film even remotely resemble the Smart franchise.

Don Adams does return as Agent 86, but rather than being an agent for CONTROL, he's working for an organization known as Provisional Intelligence Tactical Services, or PITS for short. The name change is never touched upon or explained in the least, so you just kind of have to go with it. Another part of the film that just doesn't feel right from the outset is the lack of Agent 99. In the show, the two characters were inseparable but in The Nude Bomb, Agent 99 is nowhere to be found. The lack of Barbara Feldon is felt tremendously, and Adams has no one worthwhile to banter with. Fans of the show looking for any semblance of continuity are going to be left scratching their heads. Apart from 86, the only other things that even tie this show to the Get Smart world are KAOS and Robert Karvelas returning for the role of Larrabee.

Probably the biggest difference The Nude Bomb has from Get Smart is the sense of humor. 86's lines feel forced, rarely appropriate, and the casual gags and jokes are anything but. It's also worth mentioning that the humor here is rather lowbrow compared to what fans are used to. 86 and several other characters use bad language and there is even a scene that involves a rather busty woman in a wet shirt who is not wearing a bra; you do the math. It's bad enough that these elements are in a film that's supposed to be part of Get Smart. The fact that the movie got a PG rating is also perplexing, but I digress.

The plot in The Nude Bomb introduces us to some new KAOS agents out to control the world. Rather than craft a nuclear weapon or devise some ultra deadly scheme, the evil organization decides to come up with a bomb that destroys fabric in an instant. Does it start fire? Nope. Does it kill people? Nope again. This weapon simply makes clothing disappear instantaneously. Pretty stupid, huh?

At any rate, KAOS holds the world's garment supply hostage unless the United Nations pays them a hefty sum of rent every month. After all, it's a KAOS world: we just live in it. This prompts the president to get in touch with PITS and ask that their best man, Agent 86, is put on the job. There are a few bumbling moments in between as 86 gets to "work" on the mission. This basically entails going to the UN to convince them that KAOS is bluffing, goofing around with a couple of female agents, uncovering a secret agent, and chasing a KAOS man through a Universal theme park. Admittedly, this last bit was rather fun as Agent 86 finds himself on set with some Cylons from Battlestar Galactica and in the water with Jaws, but if you think about it, that's really cheap. Universal didn't even step off of their back lot. The characters basically run out of the studio into other sections.

To top off this ridiculous nude bomb plot, the man with the brains of KAOS's latest project is a flamboyant fashion designer who wants to use the world's nakedness as a way to force people to wear his gaudy clothes. I understand that every villain should have proper motivation for their dastardly deeds, but is this really the best they could come up with? Not to give much of the ending away, but the whole mess climaxes with a battle that features an army of cloned Maxwell Smarts battling with a clone army of KAOS's tailor.

From start to finish, The Nude Bomb is a sloppy mess of a movie that borders on insulting the Get Smart franchise. You can almost tell from his performance that Don Adams didn't really want anything to do with the film, and after watching it you'll be liable to feel the same way. The plot is a wreck, the acting is poor, and throughout it all, the humor just doesn't work. Sure, there are a few highlights in between with Adams, but these moments are fleeting to say the least. If you were ever a fan of Get Smart, don't bother with The Nude Bomb.

The DVD:


The Nude Bomb hits DVD with a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Very little restoration went into this release and all around the picture quality is very underwhelming. The image is very soft with a rather large amount of grain that keeps the film looking dated. Some dirt is present in the transfer as well, but apart from these flaws, The Nude Bomb looks moderate for its age. Colors appear natural, and there are moments here and there where the movie doesn't display its 28 years on the shelf, but those are few and far between. Most of the blemishes here can probably be attributed to the budget and filming as it looks very much like a made-for-TV movie.


Keeping up the barebones trend of this release, the audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. As you'd imagine, the sound presentation is very unimpressive with no channel separation and the flat quality you can expect from mono output. Aside from the lackluster presence on the soundstage, the quality of the material is dodgy as well. With muffled sound effects and dialogue as well as poor audio balance, The Nude Bomb is definitely not a treat for the ears.


This disc has absolutely no bonus features. The menu only offers "Language" and "Play" selections and doesn't even present scene selection.

Final Thoughts:

The Nude Bomb is quite honestly the lowest point in Maxwell Smart's career as an Agent for CONTROL (or is that PITS?). Flying solo, Don Adams squeaks out a meager performance as 86, and it's thanks to his charm that this film earns what few chuckles it does. Despite the occasional hint of humor, this movie is about as lifeless as they come. The plot is terrible, the writing is a joke (not a funny one), and the acting is poor. The worst thing about The Nude Bomb is that it takes whatever spirit Get Smart enjoyed and crushes it. In the end, this movie feels less like a spin-off of the classic show and more like an uninspired, sloppy mess of a James Bond parody. Skip this terrible movie and let Universal put it to rest.

Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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