Inspector Gadget

What a joyless, fussy contraption of a movie! Adapted from the long-running cartoon of the same name, it revolves around the misadventures of mild-mannered, terribly well-meaning security guard John Brown (Matthew Broderick), who finds himself transformed into a discombobulated, android crime fighter. Brown interrupts a lethal robbery at the lab of eccentric...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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What a joyless, fussy contraption of a movie! Adapted from the long-running cartoon of the same name, it revolves around the misadventures of mild-mannered, terribly well-meaning security guard John Brown (Matthew Broderick), who finds himself

transformed into a discombobulated, android crime fighter. Brown interrupts a lethal robbery at the lab of eccentric scientist Artemus Bradford (Rene Auberjonois) and is nearly blown to bits by dastardly industrialist Sanford Scolex (Rupert Everett), who's just stolen Bradford's life's work.

Bradford's lovely daughter, Dr. Brenda Bradford (Joely Fisher), puts Brown back together according to her father's research. When Brown awakes, he's Inspector Gadget, a three-ring circus version of Robocop. His head and limbs extend as though on springs, his fingers snap open to reveal scissors

and cigarette lighters, his hat contains a variety of handy-dandy devices, including helicopter blades. And his car! Let's not start on the sassy, high-tech pimpmobile...sorry, gadgetmobile: It jive-talks, it apprehends perps, it spews candy from its glove compartment. The local police

chief (Dabney Coleman), who doesn't hold with newfangled crime-fighting inventions, sticks Gadget on permanent rescuing-kittens-from-trees detail. But Scolex creates an evil Inspector Gadget, giving the real Inspector the opportunity to put things right. There are probably children who will

enjoy this movie, though the ones at the preview we attended were conspicuously quiet and apparently underwhelmed by the frenetic show of whiz-bang special effects wizardry unfolding in front of them. Rupert Everett and Andy Dick (as Scolex sidekick Kramer) camp it up so much that they could be

doing a skit at Wigstock; everyone else affects the bright, slightly strident tone that afflicts so many movies aimed at youngsters. A couple of clever lines don't really compensate for all the pointless noise and flashy tricks.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: What a joyless, fussy contraption of a movie! Adapted from the long-running cartoon of the same name, it revolves around the misadventures of mild-mannered, terribly well-meaning security guard John Brown (Matthew Broderick), who finds himself transformed… (more)

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