Inspector Gadget (1999) Poster

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Inspector Gadget gets thrown out the window and Disney takes over
vogonford29 May 2006
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 ever.

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.
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It strayed away from the cartoon too much
tom_mewer11 November 2004
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.
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This, quite simply, is NOT Inspector Gadget.
palaste24 May 2000
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.
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I was a fan of the original cartoon series
connick-23 January 2000
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!!'.
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good special effects, weak story
Buddy-519 March 2000
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 arsenal.

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.
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go go bad movie!
Rattrap00720 August 2001
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 this.

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.
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NO NO Gadget ...
Asteri-Atypical1 September 2001
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".
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Go Go Gadget!
Op_Prime1 May 2001
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.
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This is not just bad, it's VERY bad.
jane-4227 May 2001
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.

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Go Go Gadget, right out of the theater
Quinoa198414 May 2000
I don't think there has been a worse film to come around like this since Ski Patrol. I wanted to like it (Matthew Broderick is one of my favorite actors of the 90's), but he is undermined by effects (some good, some pointless) and a Rupert Everett claw man. Only one part of this film is remotely watchable, that is the end where there is a seminar for bad guys including the metal mouth from the James Bond films and Mr. T. I reccomend that part to movie buffs, but thats it. If you are really interested though, just watch the cartoon version, which is at least reccomended for kids. Among the worst of the year (unfortunately). D+
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Highly Entertaining. Ignore the reviews.
tonyhic2 June 2002
Having heard a lot of bad reviews about this film, I expected it to be yet another disappointing attempt to transfer a good TV show to film. What's more, i was never much of a fan of the original TV show.

I am, however, a big fan of Matthew Broderick and Rupert Everett, and they don't disappoint in the slightest. Both ham it up beautifully, and make the most of this film.

The script is far from innovative, but it does have some very clever jokes. There are a few moments of smarmy "use your heart" dialogue, but, they're thankfully kept to a minimum, and outnumbered by some more subversive lines.
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Not absolutely dire, but could have been so much better!
TheLittleSongbird16 September 2009
First of all, I absolutely love the cartoon, it is a classic, and great fun for adults and kids alike. Unfortunately, while there are some redeeming qualities, Inspector Gadget, came across for me as dull, uninspired and disappointing. But it is not the worst movie ever, I did think Disaster Movie and Home Alone 4 were much worse.

There are some bright spots. One is the special effects, they were very very good and the best part of the movie. It is true that the film is a tad low on laughs, though the part when the thumb turns itself into a cigarette lighter does raise a chuckle or two. There are some terrific scenes involving Gadget's robot self, a car chase and a helicopter. And Joely Fisher is lovely as Brenda, and Rupert Everett, ever reliable, makes an entertaining Doctor Claw.

Unfortunately, that's where the positives end. I am in complete agreement with anyone who thinks that it could've been so much better. Matthew Broderick struggles to make a convincing enough title character, but I do think it is to do with the fact that the role of Inspector Gadget is badly underwritten. Having said that, the script is very weak, and lacks any sense of plot and drive, and the plot is rather slow moving and doesn't make much sense. Plus the editing was rather choppy.

Overall, a disappointing film, that could've been so much better. Had it been more faithful to the show, and had more of a sense of fun, it could have been a great film rather than a mediocre one. 4/10 for trying. Bethany Cox
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OK, not bad ,not good, just OK
doctortardis216 April 2009
i watched the original cartoon series as a kid and i can say that i loved it. when i first heard that the movie was being made, i got hyped. when i saw the movie i thought it was a master piece, but then i got it on tape and started comparing to the series,and my love for the movie slowly decreased, but i still liked it. the acting was fair, and the comedy OK, but my main problem was loyalty to the series. i liked for a while as a kid....

but seeing it many years later, makes me feel a little awkward.

but still it was an OK movie, they could have been a little more loyal to the series, but i still think it was worth watching once.

PS. compare this one to the SEQUEL, THEN YOU WILL KNOW TRUE SUCKAGE !!!
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Good Movie
polenta31 December 2002
Good funny movie for the family. I enjoyed it! Michelle Trachenberg was good in it. She however is not in the 2nd film being released on 2003. I can't wait to see the 2nd one. The 2nd one is rated G also, so that one is probably better for younger kids. I recommend this movie if you like funny comedys with silly actions.
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Go Go Gadget: Awful corporate product.
Inspector Gadget sucks so hard I don't even know where to begin. For starters, this movie is ONLY meant for VERY YOUNG kids. Even if that is so, they would probably have a hard time enjoying the visuals. This is one of the ugliest family movies ever made. The humour is humourless and dry, the acting is just bad, and for a kids movie, it sure is pretty dark. Disney screwed up big time with this soulless movie. Matthew Broderick was cast as the most annoying character possible: the title character himself. His character gets "fixed" after an accident; he is turned into a robot (at the beginning of the movie), or a cyborg, or something that we couldn't possibly care about.

Also another thing in the movie is that Dr. Claw, the villain in the original Inspector Gadget TV show who never reveals his face, is clearly visible on screen most of the time, and he's just an ordinary looking guy. Nothing works in this movie. The show was never owned by Disney in the first place, but they bought the film rights to the show and lowered the show to Disney- fied levels. I never watched the show growing up, but I have seen some episodes and they were a lot better than the movie, even though the episodes were pretty standard.

Avoid this piece of rubbish at all costs. It isn't worth your time or money. It deserves to rot away and be forgotten.
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Not as Bad as Critics Make it Seem
Hollywood_Yoda20 September 2018
Sure, it's not a top rate film directed by Spielberg, but it's a formula family film from Disney, so it's gonna be chastised. Matthew Broderick probably wasn't the best choice for Inspector Gadget, however he was better than French Stewart.

The best part of the film was D.L. Hughley as the voice of the Gadgetmobile. And Rupert Everett was not so bad as Claw. However, the story wasn't so great, nor was the writing. But again it is a formula Disney film, so you know what you're getting into beforehand.
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Go Go Gadget Movie!
kmurphy21 July 1999
When I first heard that there was going to be an Inspector Gadget movie, I cringed. And Matthew Broderick as Inspector Gadget?! The horror!

Then I saw the preview, and I was amazed at the special effects. Better than Star Wars Episode 1 in some places.

The movie itself is really for kids, but the jokes and special effects will endear themselves to adults as well. Broderick does a good job as Gadget, and I was surprised to see Andy Dick in a kids movie.
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A Fun Film for Fans!
servofan1 August 1999
This is a great treat for Inspector Gadget fans. Matthew Broderick makes a terrific Gadget. Michelle Trachtenberg does Penny justice, and they haven't updated her at all. She's just a very smart, cute little girl. There's no annoying concessions to the nineties. Brain doesn't talk--almost, but they've picked a very cunning-looking, adorable beagle for the part. Rupert Everett is suitably evil as Dr. Claw, and Joely Fisher portrays a believable love interest. The script honors the cartoon, and the gadgetry, most inventions from the source material, do not usurp the story or characterization which nicely portrays our heroes as simply nice people you'd love to have for your neighbors. Stay in your seat until the screen goes blank. Go-Go-Great!
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Very silly but quite enjoyable in a dopey, tongue in cheek way
bob the moo3 November 2003
When security guard John Brown witnesses the murder of a famed robotic scientist, he gives chase, catches the perpetrator but is badly hurt in an explosion where the villain (known as the claw) escapes. He awakes to find himself rebuilt by the scientist's daughter and with all manner of gadgets at his disposal.

I watched this on a wet, cold generally miserable Sunday afternoon while I lazily did some ironing. I didn't expect much from it and I was surprised (and slightly ashamed) to find that I actually quite enjoyed it. The plot is nonsense and the action is all very silly and aimed at kids, but it does have it's tongue in it's cheek and seems to know that it's all just bit of dumb fun. As a result we have everything exaggerated for humour – whether it be Gadget's gadgets or the performances themselves, it is all playing to the adult audience saying `we know this is silly but bare with us'.

This may annoy many but I can quite enjoy a silly film as long as it acknowledges what it is and goes with it. The film had a few really good jokes in it as well as the odd movie reference or post-modern adult gag in it. My favourite bit was in the end credits, where a repentant henchman attends a henchman anonymous group meeting – in the crowd are various Bond villains including Jaws and Odd Job! While the film lacks the wit and sophistication of films that really play to kids and adults, this was still quite fun to watch even it is all was very silly.

The cast do a reasonable job with the material – again, all seeming to do it with a wink to the audience to acknowledge what we were thinking. Broderick is better than this, but is still OK in the role, he plays it fairly straight but is still amusing. Fisher has less to do and the voice of the Gadget Mobile is just a bad Chris Rock impression. The one character than dominates the film is Everett, he plays it so very OTT and knowing that he is fun to watch. He, like us, knows it is silly but is determined to have fun – I had fun watching him, whether he is hamming it up or dropping references (`Madonna'). He helped raise the film by simply playing to it's sole strength – that it's dumb but fun!

Overall this is not a great kids movie if you view it alongside cleverer movies such as Toy Story etc which serve both types of audience (kids/adults) equally well. However it still manages to be fun and, if you're in the mood for a dumb silly film where the comedy is slightly self-mocking then, while there's still much to be annoyed by, there's still some daft fun to be had.
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Not great work of art, but entertaining
shagrock2 August 1999
I just took my 9 year old son to see this movie, we both laughed and had a good time. No it is not a great work of art, but it is a fun movie non the less. My 9 year old gave it two thumbs up. There are not many movies my kid and I can both enjoy, but this was one of them. Sure not true to the tv show, and I am not sure about Mr. Broderick, but the choice of Penny was great, and Ms. Fisher was a welcome addition to the caste. But over all I would say take your kids, to see it and have fun.
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One of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time
Remo-924 July 1999
This had "Disaster" written all over it; as Hollywood has plumbed television for so many of its recent films, the degree of quality has steadily dropped. So when you take a marginally funny kid show like INSPECTOR GADGET and put it on the big screen...well, let's just say I was expecting another THE FLINTSTONES and leave it at that.

I was wrong.

INSPECTOR GADGET proves that if you treat your audience with respect, and don't treat yourself or your subject matter too seriously, you can do nice things with film. The entire cast is wonderful, with notable performances from Broderick and Everett. It's not going to win the Palme d'Or or any Academy awards (except, perhaps, an effects award or two), but GADGET has a lot of heart, and is well worth seeing on the big screen.
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uruseiranma1 July 2006
During the 1990's in Hollywood, a funny thing happened. Studios began to suddenly think that by re-imagining previous cartoons as live-action films, they could stand to make a tidy little profit. The Walt Disney Studios got off to quite a huge start when their 1996 starring vehicle 'George of the Jungle' (taken from the cartoon of the same name by legendary creator Jay Ward) made upwards of $100 million. Suddenly, a new trend had caught on. But not wanting to stop there, Disney thought they'd try again. Though this time, with a hot cartoon property from the 1980's, dubbed 'Inspector Gadget.'

The previews touted a fun, rollicking film, where Gadget would be a live-action crime-fighting 'tool,' complete with Gadgetcopter, extendo-legs, and much more. But aside from all the cool, techno-gadgetry, the film became the stuff of typical executive schlock. The town where our characters reside is colored so garish that you'd assume color-blind monkeys did the decorating work. What's more, most of the plot devices that made the cartoon series memorable have been jettisoned in favor of a jive-talking Gadgetmobile with trademark-friendly sponsors, pop-up-video-style memory flashbacks, and more.

What made the cartoon series work so well, was we never did learn most of the big questions, like 'how did Gadget get his gadgets?' 'Why does Dr Claw hate Inspector Gadget?' And even the most important one: 'what does Claw look like?'

For this film, those questions are answered for us, and it gets to the point where you just want them not to tell you these things.

'Inspector Gadget' is a throwaway summer film, as well as a mindless babysitter for when you need to do your laundry.

what Disney Studios crafted here was something so brainless that parents most likely got bored while their children were held in place with cheap live-action gags and the usual round of fart and poop jokes.
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One of the worst high-grossing film since Blair Witch Project
dgs6 December 1999
The ‘80s cartoon series is given a god-awful big screen live-action treatment with Broderick as a heroic security guard badly injured that a scientist gives him a new body (RoboCop anyone?) - a machine that shoots out a variety of gadgets so he can fight a villain named Claw who has stolen a computer generated foot....whatever. Broderick is an unconvincing Inspector Gadget, Everett shows a different side of him which we don't want to see (Claw really should have been masked) and that nasty little Tratchenberg should have been replaced with Kirsten Dunst or someone BETTER...Miscasts, hideous performances, lack of humor and an atrocious screenplay just kills this incoherent, irritating and mind-numbingly awful film that provides plenty of product placements. It's hard to believe that this one made $90 million...and only lasted 78 minutes!
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