Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Inspector Gadget 2

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
4 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Starring:
French Stewart as Inspector Gadget
Elaine Hendrix as G2
Tony Martin as Claw
Caitlin Wachs as Penny
Mark Mitchell as Chief Quimby
Sigrid Thornton as Mayor Wilson
Bruce Spence as Baxter
Alethea McGrath as Mrs. Quimby
John Batchelor as McKibble
James Wardlaw as Brick
Mick Roughlan as Jungle Bob
Nick Lawson as Squint
Siros Niaros as The Ninja

Special Features:
"Illustrated Gadget" Activity
"Gadget Training Simulator" Set-Top Game
"The Gadgets Behind Gadget's Gadgets" - Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
Outtakes - Bloopers from the cast
12 Deleted Scenes
Storyboard-To-Film Comparison
Audio Commentary With Director Alex Zamm
Audio Commentary With French Stewart, Elaine Hendrix, and Director Alex Zamm
Music Video "Up, Up, Up" by Rose Falcon
Watch the Movie with Soundtrack Only

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.66:1) - Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
THX Certified
French Language Track
Running Time: 88 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the sequel to Disney's "Inspector Gadget" film starring Matthew Broderick. It is based on the cartoon series by the same name.

The town of Riverton is now safe from criminals. Inspector Gadget has done his job well. Perhaps too well. Every bad guy in the area is now in jail. Gadget now finds himself with nothing of importance to do. Throw in a new problem with gadget glitches and our hero finds himself in a bit of a slump.

Matters aren't helped any when a new Gadget robot is unveiled. The new G2 is a female robot crime fighter that is more advanced, has better gadgets, and lacks the glitches of her predecessor. Inspector Gadget is instantly smitten with her, but she's more interested in business.

When Doctor Claw escapes from jail, Inspector Gadget is put on the sidelines while G2 tackles the case. However, Gadget, Penny, and Brain start their own investigation on the side. Will the trio save the day or make matters worse for the town of Riverton?

"Inspector Gadget 2" is rated G.

The Movie:
I have never seen the first "Inspector Gadget" film, but I was a big fan of the cartoon as a kid. I had high hopes for this film because I liked the character and I like French Stewart. However, the fact that it was a straight to video release made me worried. I was right to be worried.

"Inspector Gadget 2" is rather boring and not funny at all. Every attempt at a joke in the film fell totally flat. Even when there were glimpses of hope that it might pick up speed, things bombed yet again. A scene where Gadget goes undercover in disguise is a good example of that. When that setup could have delivered really funny payoff, nothing happened.

Matters aren't helped any by the bad special effects. They went out of their way to make everything look cartoony. Things pop up out of his head that look more like left over props from Roger Rabbit than anything else. Nothing else is very good either. Gadget squirts large amounts of slime out of his body. I guess kids love slime, so they threw in extra amounts of it. You'd think with the blatant McDonald's product endorsements in the film they could have afforded a bigger effects budget.

While I like French Stewart, he's not really funny in this movie. He seems to play it close to the script and there doesn't seem to be much ad-libbing. If you're expecting a 3rd Rock From The Sun kind of performance, forget it. Elaine Hendrix plays a robot throughout the film, so she never really stands out as a character with personality. I think there were better directions to go with that character. The two leads don't get much help from the supporting cast either. When you're main sidekick is a jive-talkin' car, you know you're in trouble. And why is Dr. Claw's face never shown in this movie when it was in the first film? If they recast the main role in the film, why not the main villain? Mad Max fans may want to note, though, that Bruce Spence is in the movie as Baxter. "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" fans may want to note that Madame Jocasta Nu herself, Alethea McGrath, appears as Mrs. Quimby.

"Inspector Gadget 2" is a movie adults should steer clear from. Kids may get a kick out of it, but most people will want to block the film out of their memories.

The Extras:
Despite the quality of the film, the DVD has a surprising number of extras. There's a little something in here for both kids and adults:

"Illustrated Gadget" Activity - This feature shows schematics of both Inspector Gadget and G2. You can click on various parts of their bodies and see what gadgets are housed there.

"Gadget Training Simulator" Set-Top Game - The Gadgetmobile hosts this game in which you pretend you're Inspector Gadget. You are given different dangerous scenarios and you must pick which gadget you must use to save the day. Pick incorrectly and disaster strikes. If you choose correctly, you move on to a trivia question. It's fun for kids but the voice of the car will drive you absolutely nuts.

"The Gadgets Behind Gadget's Gadgets" - Behind-The-Scenes Featurette - This is probably the coolest of the extras. You get to see behind-the-scenes footage on the making of the various gadgets. You see the real props, the computer animation, and more. Also featured is some footage of the training for the fight scenes, setup on the bridge for the final showdown, and other neat stuff. Supplementing the material are interviews with the cast and crew.

Outtakes - Bloopers from the cast - This features a few funny moments where things went wrong during the film. It shows Brain in a tug-or-war with Penny, French Stewart flubbing lines and dropping props, and more. It's an amusing extra but it's short.

12 Deleted Scenes - It's hard to imagine that in a movie this unremarkable that there'd be enough stuff to fill up 12 deleted scenes, but there is. None of the scenes are that great and it was a wise decision to remove them. One shows Penny busting her teacher for stealing ice cream at school. Another shows the Gadgetmobile being impounded. Another shows Gadget chasing Claw through the park and stopping to eat McDonald's fries. (If this had been left in the film, it would have been the second blatant product endorsement for McDonald's in the movie.) If you watch these, you have the option of viewing them with commentary from director Alex Zamm.

Storyboard-To-Film Comparison - This shows a comparison between the storyboard and the film during the final big showdown on the bridge.

Audio Commentary With French Stewart, Elaine Hendrix, and Director Alex Zamm - The two leads in the film team up with the director to talk about the making of the movie. Stewart and Hendrix seemed to have a lot of fun while shooting and they talk at length about the fun and hardships of making the movie. Zamm pretty much stays in the background and prompts the actors with questions to keep things going. I think kids might even enjoy listing to a bit of this commentary.

Audio Commentary With Director Alex Zamm - Zamm returns for a solo commentary. Were two commentaries really necessary for this film?

Music Video "Up, Up, Up" by Rose Falcon - This is yet another generic blonde teenage singer singing a generic song dusted off the shelf for this film. Nothing remarkable here, though my kid seemed to enjoy it.

Watch the Movie with Soundtrack Only - If you really want to, you can watch this movie with the sound off and the music on. I don't know why you'd want to do this, though.

The Bottom Line:
Kids are probably the only ones who will enjoy "Inspector Gadget 2". Adults might find more entertainment from the behind the scenes features in the extras.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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