Main cast: Rupert Everett (Scar), Matthew Broderick (Jonathan Brown/Inspector Gadget), Joely Fisher (Dr Brenda Bradford), Michelle Trachtenberg (Penny Brown), and Dabney Coleman (Chief Quimby)
Director: David Kellogg
Childish can be good, but Inspector Gadget is really boring, I’m afraid, thanks to a pedestrian story that doesn’t even try to be funny.
Ideally, Matthew Broderick should be perfect as the mechanical man Inspector Gadget. His character Jonathan Brown is a security guard who dreams of being a policeman and impressing dear beautiful Brenda who works in the same lab as he. One day he foils nasty Scar’s attempt to rob a mechanical foot from Brenda’s lab (yes, a mechanical foot). Brenda’s father is killed and John is horribly injured. Brenda resurrects him as a mechanical man/robot who has an arsenal of weapons and helicopter blades and other thingamabobs up his … uhm, everywhere. Now Inspector Gadget is back to stop Claw, and… yawn.
Okay, I love Mr Broderick, but Inspector Gadget here, while wonderfully human and not as absent-minded as the cartoon version, is horribly bland. He’s not funny enough, and put his next to even more bland Brenda and I find it hard to keep awake.
In the cartoon, Penny’s the life of the show. Here, Penny might as well as a tutu-wearing, dancing pug dog for all the significance she has in the script. Likewise, the dog Brain who in the cartoon rescues Inspector Gadget all the time is totally useless here.
And Rupert, he is a nice, wickedly funny actor but he is simply awful here. He is either acting as if he’s bored out of his wits (maybe he is) or he’s going way over the top. Nonetheless, he’s the most fun character here. And that’s not saying much.
I must admit the Godzilla-spoof scene is funny, especially considering that Mr Broderick acted in that box-office flop. Best of all is the Japanese man screaming “This is why I left Tokyo!” At last, someone said in the open the implausibility of Tokyo getting attacked every day on TV by giant moths, dragons, and other monsters and still getting people to live there.
I also think the Minion Recovery Support Group at the end is hilarious. Now that’s a genius idea! Why didn’t the scriptwriters come up with more gems like this?
Oh, and I’m quite overjoyed to see Don Adams on TV again, even if in a very brief cameo. As Brain the Dog’s voice. Drats.
The kids may love it. I find it depressingly dull and tedious. Here’s hoping it’s not because I’m old or something.