Inspector Gadget Review
By Christopher Null
I'll admit to watching the early 1980s' Inspector Gadget cartoon, and probably far too late in life.
Looks like now I'm waaaaay too old for this kind of thing, but judging by the mute stares of the many children in our advance screening audience, maybe they are too.
Inspector Gadget - the live-action version starring Matthew Broderick in a thankless slapstick role - tries so hard to be funny, aiming alternately at kids and their parents, that it misses on all counts. In one scene, Gadget will grab some guy's crotch until he squeals. In the next, the evil Dr. Claw (Everett) will pontificate on how his moniker is "One word, like Madonna." Do kids get the subtlety of the joke, considering Everett is openly gay? Do adults think it's funny?
Nix on both counts, and the super-streamlined plot line (John Brown is injured and becomes superhuman crime-fighting machine) is stolen completely from RoboCop. How's that for your average kiddie movie?
Two funny items of note earn Gadget its half-star. First is the Minion Recovery Group scene, which appears during the closing credits. Second is actually up front, when a "Yahoo!" billboard crushes Claw's limo. Considering that Disney's Go network is now an arch-rival of Yahoo!, the free advertising for the competition (which likely wasn't an issue during the movie's original production) seems particularly ironic.
There I go again. Making my own humor.
Phlegm fatale. Fisher gets between her boys.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 23rd July 1999
Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures
Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures, Caravan Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 21%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 49
Cast & Crew
Starring: Matthew Broderick as Inspector Gadget / Robo Gadget / John Brown, Rupert Everett as Sanford Scolex, Joely Fisher as Brenda / Robobrenda, Michelle Trachtenberg as Penny, Andy Dick as Kramer, Cheri Oteri as Mayor Wilson, Mike Hagerty as Sikes, Dabney Coleman as Chief Quimby, D. L. Hughley as Gadgetmobile (voice), Rene Auberjonois as Artemus Bradford, Frances Bay as Thelma, Mr. T as Himself, Richard Kiel as Famous Big Guy with Silver Teeth, Richard Lee-Sung as Famous Villain with Deadly Hat, Bobby Bell as Famous Identifier of Sea Planes