Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Inspector Gadget (David Kellogg, 1999) Review

Oh boy, here we go. If ever there was a film that could be considered the worst adaptation...this probably isn't the worst (I'm looking at you Catwoman). The only problem with reviewing it is that well, this is actually a guilty pleasure of mine. I only like this film from a nostalgic standpoint but as I'm being critical about this...let's do this!

John Brown (Matthew Broderick) is a wannabe cop who is just a security guard. His next job is to be security guard of a laboratory run by Brenda Bradford (Joely Fisher) and her father. One night, Sanford Scolex (Rupert Everett) breaks into the laboratory, kills Brenda's father and gets away with their top secret robotic experiment. Brown goes after Scolex but is blown up in the process but not before leaving Scolex's hand crushed. Brown is reborn using the robotics from Brenda's experiment as Inspector Gadget, a cyborg filled to the brim with gadgets (hence the name, if you couldn't guess). Meanwhile, Scolex is also reborn but as Dr. Claw thanks to the robotic claw he now possesses as a result of his hand being crushed.

I might as well begin with the failure of the adaptation. What I mean is what has been changed...for the worse. Now, Gadget is basically the same character since he's still a slapstick inducing moron but the biggest change is Claw. In the cartoon, he was never seen. All that was shown was his arm that he would wave in anger alot and he was voiced by the legendary Frank Welker. So what does he look like? Is he a robot? A demon? Covered in scars? Or the gay guy from My Best Friends's Wedding? Apparently David Kellogg though it was the latter. Who knew!

The film ruined a lot of things. Brain has little to no screen time, Penny isn't the one to save Gadget as is always the case in the cartoon, the Gadgetmobile isn't awesome anymore and for some reason it's voiced by  D.L. Hughley...I don't know what happened there. There is always slapstick, no one is safe from it and it gets lazy and tiresome by the end. It's clearly a kids film but done wrong. If you want to adapt a cartoon to a film (and in this case, reboot it) then to it justice please. To describe it in a word, all I can say is annoying. I like Broderick's Gadget and Everett looks like he's having fun but they can't make up for the rest of the blunders. Don't even get me started on the random sound effects (apparently taping on someone's shoulder will make it ring like a doorbell....)

It is far from the worst film i've ever seen but it's even further from the best i've ever seen. It's just under the scale of average. I still quote it and would re-watch it but only for sentimental reasons. I remember watching it as a kid and liking but the only way to enjoy this film and get the most out of it is pretend your a kid again...which I wouldn't recommend.

Inspector Gadget is an example of an adaptation done wrong but it features some (and by some I mean two) enjoyable characters but the rest of it is just annoying. The is basic and forgettable, the secondary characters are pretty rubbish, the effects are average and the sound effects are UNNESSESARY!!! Not a recommended film unless you are me!

A rubbish adaptation that doesn't do the source material justice. Questionable casting and stupid moments galore!

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