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I grew up watching Inspector Gadget. It was, and still is, one of my
favorite cartoons, if not my absolute favorite. I learned a lot of
geography and history from the spin-off Inspector Gadget's Field Trip.
I wanted to slip on a banana peel and become the greatest detective
But the film has ruined the reputation of the wonderful cartoon.
Matthew Broderick, an actor with potential, was definitely NOT the role for Inspector Gadget. First thing- in the film, Inspector Gadget is smart. Not so in the cartoon. In the film, Gadget solves the mystery mostly by himself. In the cartoon, it was almost always Penny, Brain, and the awesome book (I still want her book!). If Gadget solved the mystery, it was by accident. Gadget in the film seems to be a competent detective, but in the cartoon was pretty dumb, which was where the humor came from.
Another thing is that it's too much "Good Guy v. Bad Guy" in the film. It's not just meant to be a silly Saturday morning cartoon. Also, Gadget never should have a love story, but Disney Corporation is filled with idiots.
Also I miss the true gadgets that Gadget had, and especially the Gadget car. In the movie it was a chic convertible. In the cartoon it was a sedan police car and could turn into a van. It also barely had any gadgets and was mainly there to get him from place to place.
But if anything, the one thing that was terrible about the movie was that it was a feature movie. Inspector Gadget was a silly Saturday morning cartoon. The movie was too serious, too overdone, had too much of a plot and wasn't even remotely as funny.
Tip for those who haven't seen it: NEVER see it. EVER. Watch the cartoon, it's a true classic.
Film: Gadget's real name is John Brown.
Cartoon: His name really is Gadget. --- Film: Claw's real name is Sanford Scolex.
Cartoon: His name really is Claw. --- Film: Metro City is in the USA.
Cartoon: Metro City is in Canada. --- Film: Gadget works for the local police department.
Cartoon: Gadget works for Interpol. --- Film: Gadget used to be a security guard and was injured in an explosion.
Cartoon: Gadget used to be a policeman and was injured when he slipped on a banana peel. --- Film: Claw's face is shown (and it looks nothing like the action figure).
Cartoon: Claw's face is never shown. --- Film: Claw has a mechanical claw inplace of one of his hands.
Cartoon: Claw has normal hands. --- Film: Quimby hates Gadget for no reason.
Cartoon: Quimby thinks Gadget is one of Interpol's best inspectors. --- Film: The Gadget Mobile can talk and has many gadgets.
Cartoon: The Gadget Mobile can't talk, can change from a police car to a van (and vice versa) and has only a few gadgets. --- Film: Gadget was put back together by a team of surgeons.
Cartoon: Gadget was put back together by one man; Professor Baxter. --- Film: Claw is the head of Scolex Industries.
Cartoon: Claw is the head of a criminal organization called MAD. --- Film: Claw has two minions.
Cartoon: Claw has hundreds of minions. --- Film: Gadget has 60 gadgets.
Cartoon: Gadget has 14,000 gadgets.
Once again, Disney manages to make a children's movie which totally ignores its background. About the only thing common with this and the original Gadget cartoons is the names. The most glaring errors are the characters - Penny does not have her book, Brain has been reduced from a character to a fancy prop, Dr Claw is more a show-off than an evil villain, etc. but there are more than that. The horrors start from the first minutes of the film - having Gadget as a security guard called John Brown doesn't help identifying him as the classic Inspector Gadget. And right in the beginning we see Disney's blatant attempt to turn every story ever into a love affair between a man and a woman - they introduce Brenda, who only serves to make this movie Disney-compatible. Add to this the fact that the "Claw" seen in this film and the classic Dr Claw are almost diagonally opposite and you'll see this is going to be nowhere near the original storyline. What would help would be a better storyline to replace it - but as you guessed, Disney failed in that too. The whole movie is just Gadget acting silly for silliness's sake and lusting after Brenda. As if to add insult to the injury, Disney introduced the "new" Gadgetmobile - it doesn't look, function or think like the old Gadgetmobile at all, it's just the canonical "comic relief" figure. Disney obviously recognised that the Gadget cartoons were a comedy, so they made the film a comedy too, but they took out all the clever running gags (like the assignment paper exploding in the Chief's face) and replaced them with Gadget being a moron, the Gadgetmobile being a wise-ass, and "Claw" showing off. Someone should tell Disney that "children's movie" doesn't imply "total lack of any brain usage". Gadget should be targeted for children of 10-12 years... not children of 10-12 months like this movie. Whatever this movie is supposed to be, it is NOT, repeat NOT, the real Inspector Gadget. Because I love the old Gadget, I hate this.
I was a huge fan of the original cartoon series, and was looking forward to finally seeing Gadget on the big screen -- but I never in my wildest dreams expected something so extremely extremely terrible. The pace was WAY too fast, there was no plot, and 'wowser!' - what the hell is that?? It was 'WOWSERS!!'.
This movie is actually pretty good. It was much better than what most critics said. Now that is surprising though. Why? Because this was made by Disney, a studio (to put it nicely) I am really not fond of. Matthew Broderick does a good job as the title character (really). The other actors don't play their characters as well as they could have. Moving to a more positive aspect, the special effects are another major highlight of the movie. Same for the action and fight scenes. As for the story, it's okay. The story is pretty much a prequel to the animated series, showing Inspector Gadget's origin. It's far from perfect, but keep in mind this movie is based on a Saturday morning series from the eighties and intended for the kids. Thumbs up.
I used to have a fascination with the cartoon back in college when it was
being made. It had much the charm of "Get Smart". While it admittedly had
its faults, it was rather enjoyable.
Naturally I was very interested in seeing the film version. That was before I saw it. Afterwords I wished it had never been made.
Besides being miscast all around (who on Earth though Broderick was even close to the role?) it just didn't make the grade.
The effects were reasonable and perhaps the ONLY thing I liked about the movie; seeing a live-action version of the gadgets in action! What was missing was a story and treatment which made it funny or charming or interesting.
The original was a wacky cartoon with a very lighthearted attitude. It was FUN. The motion picture became murky and took itself FAR too seriously. If it had seriously had a great plot or went crazy enough to make it seem like a "cartoon on film" it might have been enjoyable.
As it exists it doesn't deserve to be considered part of the "Gadget Legacy".
I grew up watching the old Inspector Gadget cartoon as a kid. It was like
Get Smart for kids. Bumbling boob can't solve any case and all the work is
done by the walking talking dog Brain and his niece Penny. I had heard the
live action movie was decent so I checked it out at the library. I rented
this movie for free and felt I should have been paid to see
Broderick comes nowhere near the caliber of acting Don Adams had as the voice of gadget. His voice was all wrong. The girl who played Penny looked nothing like the cartoon Penny. She is brunette where the cartoon version was blonde with pigtails. But she does do a decent job given what she had to work with. Dabney Coleman gives a good performance as Cheif Quimby. Saldy he never hid in any odd place or had exploding messages tossed at him accidently by Gadget.
The gadget mobile was wrong. It never talked in the series and it did fine. Why did they do this?
Gadget was too intelligent in this film. In the show he was a complete idiot. Here he had a halfway decent intellect. It would have worked better if he was a moron.
Also the completely butchered the catchphrase. Borderick says "Wowser". It is and should always be "Wowsers". It sounds lame with out the 's'. I got upset when they showed the previews and they didn't have the correct phrase.
The ONLY decent gags were during the credits. The lacky for Claw is in front of a support group for recovering henchmen/sidekicks. Seated in the audience is Mr. T, Richard Keil aka Jaws of Bond movie fame, a Herve Villacheze look alike, Oddjob, Kato and more. This is about the only part I laughed at.
The other is at the end where Penny is checking out here gadget watch and tells brain to say somethin. Don Adams voices the dog saying that "Brain isn't in right now. Please leave your name at the sound of the woof. Woof." of course this isn't laugh out loud funny, just a nice piece of nostalgia to hear Adams in the movie. He should have at least voiced the stupid car.
Kids will like this, anyone over 13 won't.
Well. Where to begin. Let's just say this; avoid this movie at all
costs. It's based on a cartoon series. The movie makes the cartoon look
like Hamlet. Filled with emasculated actors who seem embarrassed to be
here, lousy camera work, terrible music, and enough product placement to
make you want to never visit Yahoo! again, this movie is really the
bottom of the barrel. To quote the New Yorker, Matthew Broderick and
Rupert Everett mug their way through this picture with the gay abandon
of men who have spotted a rare species of paycheck in the distance."
They should pay us some of the millions they earned for watching it.
Children and adults alike are decidedly ill served by "Inspector Gadget," a
frenetic but genuinely mirthless live action take on the popular Saturday
morning cartoon series that mires poor Matthew Broderick in the role of a
nerdish do-gooder who gets the chance to live out his heroic fantasies when
he is converted into a one-man, self-contained crime fighting cybernetic
Thanks to current state-of-the-art special effects, the filmmakers manage to effectively translate the cartoonish aspects of the original to the live action format. Despite a few glaringly bad shots utilizing rear screen projection, the visuals that help to realize the infinite gadgets at the inspector's disposal are genuinely jaw-dropping.
What the movie makers couldn't (or, at least, wouldn't) come up with is a decent script - without which all the greatest special effects in the world cannot a quality film make. Gadget is surrounded by a gallery of dull, poorly written caricatures ranging from a giddy, self-absorbed mayor, to a gruff, shortsighted chief of police, and an effete mad scientist bent on creating an army of indestructible gadget warriors, with which, of course, he (ho hum) plans to rule the world. Even the newly "hipified" gadget mobile comes across as a charmless, grating irritant as he provides a constant stream of witless one-liners as running commentary to the action.
Of the actors, Broderick and Rupert Everett cannot be faulted since both provide a degree of enthusiasm wholly unwarranted by the inferior screenplay with which they are saddled. For a perfect marriage of sophisticated writing and unsurpassable special effects, check out "Toy Story 2." And see what "Inspector Gadget" might indeed have been.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In between 1987 and 1990 (in between the ages of 5 and 8), "Inspector
Gadget" was one TV show I couldn't miss. It was a crucial show to my
childhood. I was actually pretty open-minded when I saw the trailers
and commercials and stuff for the movie. When I found out it was going
to premiere on the Starz channel, I sat and watched, for about 15 to 20
minutes. Then I got up, left, and came back in time to see the ending
credits. I was just dumbfounded. There were SO MANY things WRONG with
1. Chief Quimby. In the cartoon, he would give Gadget his assignment, usually by popping up in the most bizarre of places (akin to "Get Smart's" Agent 13). Once Gadget got his assignment, he'd toss the paper back to the chief. Of course, EVERY assignment ended with "This Message Will Self Destruct," and when Gadget tossed the paper back at Quimby, KA-BLAM!!!! Usually when the assignment blew up in the chief's face, he'd lose it. And that was about the only time you'd see Quimby lose it in the cartoon. In the movie, the chief was more uptight, and very bitter, and I think there were times where he HATED Gadget! By the end of the episode of the original cartoon, he would always praise Gadget for a job well done (not realizing it had been Penny and Brain that did the legwork).
2. Matthew Broderick is definitely not a believable Gadget. Gadget is supposed to be a bumbling fool, and incompetent. Broderick's portrayal kind of made him a little smarter than usual, but not very bumbling.
3. Inspector Gadget Meets Knight Rider! Seriously, they turned the Gadget Mobile into a car that talked. Like KITT on "Knight Rider." In the original cartoon, IT NEVER TALKED!!!! Was that trip REALLY necessary?
4. Penny and Brain, or rather lack thereof. They're my favorite characters from the original show, and the fact that they were barely in this ticked me off big time. That, and Penny in the cartoon is a 10/11 year old blond girl in pigtails. In the movie, she's a brunette tween. I seem to remember at one point she was using the Top Secret Gadget phone to take a personal call from a friend. Penny and Brain are the ones who are supposed to solve the case. Such was not the situation in this movie.
5. I didn't like Gadget's love interest in this for some reason. I don't know why, she just rubbed me the wrong way.
6. This last one was the biggest, and the thing that REALLY ground my gears over this movie. Why, why, WHY did they cast Rupert Everett as Dr. Claw?! And what was with the name "Claw?" It was always DOCTOR CLAW in the cartoon! Everett looked too young to be Dr. Claw, and above all: they showed his face throughout the whole picture! That is just wrong! You're NOT supposed to SEE Dr. Claw's face, people!!!!!
Seriously, this movie made me wonder something: Did they even WATCH the original cartoon before they made this?
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