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INSPECTOR GADGET

SYNOPSIS:
John Brown (Matthew Broderick) dreams of a career in the police force; but instead finds himself marking time as a security guard. But when the evil Sanford Scolex (Rupert Everett) steals a secret bionic foot, and murders its creator Artemus Bradford (Rene Auberjonois) he doesn’t hesitate to leap into action - and is seriously hurt as a result. He’s restored by Bradford’s daughter Brenda (Joely Fisher) who makes a series of "improvements", transforming him into Inspector Gadget, a modern crime fighter equipped with all manner of gizmos. When Scolex unleashes a robot duplicate of Gadget, the Inspector must use all his resources to save the city - and Brenda.

"This live-action version of the popular cartoon series is squarely aimed at those who watched it on the small box - and all you 5-11 year olds out there know who you are. The plot is an absolute no-brainer without any trace of subtlety in the screenplay. The characters are entirely one-dimensional, and the outcome of the film is never in doubt at any stage. But the kids at the screening I attended absolutely loved it. The appeal no doubt lies in the dazzling special effects and wild stunts that punctuate the film and add a much needed wackiness. An outstanding cast do a creditable job with the limited material, but are ultimately window dressing. Pick of the bunch is Rupert Everett, who clearly relishes playing the villain. His gleeful performance is a high point for me. Matthew Broderick brings his usual charms, but his character is little more than a vehicle (no pun intended) for the SFX. Joely Fisher crosses successfully from the small screen in the damsel-in-distress role. The writers have added a few jokes and pop culture references as something of a sop to adults, but these are generally lost in the mix. For older viewers pressed into service to take kids to this film, make sure you don’t run out at the end. There are some funny scenes (one hilarious) interspersed in the credits. However, Inspector Gadget is definitely designed to appeal to those pre-teens in the house - and be warned, they’ll be begging you to go see it."
David Edwards

"It's easy to fear the worst when approaching this live-action adaptation of the 80's cartoon. Arriving fifteen years after the series peaked in popularity and with 7 credited producers and executive producers, it has the smell of death from a distance but up close proves a surprisingly enjoyable romp which parents should enjoy taking the kids to this summer. It gets off on the right note with nifty opening titles and a funny and thrilling dream sequence in which John Brown imagines himself as a police hero. The casting of Matthew Broderick as Brown, Gadget and the evil Gadget double sent out on a rampage by Scolex is inspired. The everyman's everyman for this generation of moviegoers, Broderick looks the part and underneath all the gizmos and doohickeys keeps his Robocop-for-kids character real. Not deep mind you, just believable. Broderick's good but the effects are even better with creature effects genius Stan Winston displaying his mastery with perfect realisations of Gadget's collection of limb extensions and his helicopter hat party-piece. On the villainy front Rupert Everett's reptilian charm is put to good use although he does bung it on a little too much at times. I liked the exchange with his dumb henchman when Everett asks for "a dashing appellation". Reply: "what's that, a hillbilly in a tuxedo". Directed with a fair amount of visual flair by first-timer David Kellogg (also responsible for Seinfeld's Amex ads), Inspector Gadget can't sustain it's opening half hour but with a running time barely scraping 80 minutes, minus about 6 minutes for credits, it doesn't outstay its welcome by too much. While not a smashing success and unlikely to generate a franchise it's perfectly adequate holiday entertainment."
Richard Kuipers

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

>TRAILER

INSPECTOR GADGET (G)
(US)

CAST: Matthew Broderick, Rupert Everett, Joely Fisher, Michelle Trachtenberg, Andy Dick, Rene Auberjonois

DIRECTOR: David Kellogg

PRODUCER: Roger Birnbaum, Andy Heyward, Jordan Kerner

SCRIPT: Kerry Ehrin, Zak Penn, (Screenplay; story by Dana Olsen & Kerry Ehrin, Andy Heyward, Jean Chalopin, Bruno Bianchi)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Adam Greenberg

EDITOR: Alan Cody, Thom Noble

MUSIC: John Debney

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Leslie Dilley, Michael White

RUNNING TIME: 78 mins

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 21, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: May 31, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International







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