Inspector Gadget 2 (2003)

Inspector Gadget 2 (2003)

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About as good as it gets...
About as good as it gets…

Twitter Plot Summary: Gadget’s back (with a new face) and is about to be replaced by G2, a new lady robocop. Claw escapes from prison – hilarity ensues!

Genre: Action/Comedy/Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Director: Alex Zamm

Key Cast: French Stewart, Tony Martin, Elaine Hendrix, Caitlin Wachs, Mark Mitchell, Bruce Spence,

Five Point Summary:

1. The Gadgetmobile is… purple?
2. G2. Clever name. Not.
3. That CGI really is terrible. I know it’s based on a cartoon, but really?
4.  Hey look – obvious stunt double!
5. “I’ll get you next time, Gadget! HYAHAHAHAHAH!”

So we all know that the first film was really bad, and any sequel would either need to seriously up its game or linger in a similar level of film purgatory. Sadly they’ve gone in the wrong direction, with more terrible miscasting, a silly plot and a ridiculously over-saturated colour palette. If you thought the first film was bad, why not cut the budget to 1/6th of the original ($75 million for Gadget 1, just $12 million for the second) and try making a coherent film? Yeah, fuhgeddaboudit.

In their defence they have at least tried to adhere closer to the style and tone of the cartoon, but it doesn’t work. If anything it makes the first film look like a bonafide classic by comparison. Plus points: The Claw sounds a bit more like his cartoon self, the minions (not those yellow ones) complain about being minions, and Penny is the one doing the serious legwork whilst Gadget bumbles his way through the plot. That’s it for the list of positives. Honestly, I think I’ve had bowel movements which have been more enjoyable.

And what a plot we have for this turgid piece of cinema! Gadget is replaced by the latest model, the imaginatively named G2, who’s a woman, by the way. Obvious plot point lies ahead with that one… As G2 tries to stop the Claw, who’s escaped from prison after the events of the first film and morphed from the svelte figure of Rupert Everett to the slightly more bountiful frame of Tony Martin – clearly prison food ain’t good for you – Gadget tries to help but his numerous programming glitches cause all sorts of hassle.

Too... much... PURPLE.
Too… much… PURPLE.

I’m honestly not sure what the thinking was, but French Stewart as Inspector Gadget? That’s an even more ludicrous choice than hiring Matthew Broderick. He’s not bad, but only if you liked him as Harry in Third Rock From The Sun. Which thankfully I did, otherwise I’d have tried destroying the DVD at the horror of experiencing this film. Except I streamed it on Netflix, so the point is moot. The rest of the cast are unknowns and they’re merely okay, nothing stellar.

The Gadgetmobile has had a radical and totally unnecessary paint job. Rather than the sleek ECTO-1 white of the first film, it’s now a garish and unnecessary purple. It’s still voiced by DL Hughley, which ties it into the same continuity as the original film. Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. That brings us to the CGI. It’s just as bad, if not worse than the first, and that was hardly stellar stuff.

If you have kids, fine. Plonk them down in front of this and they’ll likely be mesmerised by the pretty colours and the occasional silly slapstick. Just be wary that, if you leave them to watch the film and return 90 torturous minutes later, they may have resorted to eating your aromatherapy candles in a desperate bid to make the pain end.

Favourite scene: Gadget jumping out of a moving vehicle and face-planting a stop sign.

Cliche Alert: A slow motion leap away from an exploding vehicle.

Quote: “Now I need you to keep a sharp eye out, Gadgetmobile, if you see anything suspicious let me know.”

“You mean like a Trekkie with a girlfriend?!”

Silly Moment: Seeing all of the CGI gold. *sigh*

Score: 1/5

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