INSPECTOR GADGET (1999)
This week’s movie is Inspector Gadget, Disney’s adaption of the wacky Don Adams cartoon series. While people seem to generally be aware of its existence, I don’t know that anyone has attempted to discuss the film with the level of intellectual depth that it truly warrants. The following is my attempt to describe this motion picture with the rigor that it deserves:
John Brown (Matthew Broderick) is a man who wants to be a cop.
In dreams he is real cop.
He tries to be the hero, but gets almost dead.
Oh no! Explodes are bad ideas if you want to be alive!
A scientist lady (Joely Fisher) with a dead dad (Rene Auberjonois) sees that he has the heart of a cop, so she replaces all his insides with strange things that most cops don’t use.
It is science.
John Brown is confused. Why are his fingers now not fingers?
Bubbles are useful when you are a cop? It is probably true.
But wait! There is also a bad man (Rupert Everett). The bad man has a claw. Claw is the bad man’s new name.
The Claw man also has a face. It is a pretty face, so it is nice that it isn’t hiding behind a chair.
John Brown is an inspector now. He has gadgets too. So that is now his name. The bad Claw man knows that Inspector Gadget will be the best cop, so he uses evil science to make a bad Inspector Gadget.
He makes explosions for evil!
Inspector Gadget has a cool car that talks!!!
It is cool because it is a car and it talks!
But Mr. Claw fights Gadget and takes away the computer chip that makes him stay alive. Oh no! Now Gadget is dead in a dump! The lady scientist comes and kisses his dead body.
So sad. So sad that he is dead.
But Inspector Gadget is powered by love! He can now be alive, without even computer!
Now back to work.
Haha, skis are not for on roads!
Head go bye!
Do not be sad. It is the evil head.
He flies to where the bad guys are, and wins the day with his special hat.
Fly to the bad guys!
In the end, if you are a bad man with a claw, and you think no cop will be able to stop you from being bad, a cop who has special machines inside him will stop you.
Thinking is not for cops. Do you know who thinks? Gurus think. But gurus get grabbed in the balls by big metal hands. I think thinking is not for me. I don’t want my balls grabbed by big metal hands.
Ouch! Better not think!
Inspector Gadget learns that to be a good cop he needs his feelings, not his thinkings. This is probably a good message. I don’t know why people would have a problem with not thinking cops.
WHY DON’T PEOPLE LIKE IT?:
Alright, enough of that. Seriously, though, I feel like this movie makes you dumber as you watch it. Which is a shame because the TV show was fairly clever. But the movie really fails to embrace any of the elements that made the show work. In the cartoon, Gadget was a bumbler with a huge ego, who only ever solved cases because of the intervention of his genius niece Penny and her talking dog Brain. That’s a funny premise. In the film, Penny and Brain are played rather dully by Michelle Trachtenberg and some dog, respectively (though Don Adams, the original voice of Gadget, does inexplicably voice Brain in a bizarre post-credits sequence). The once prominent duo are relegated to pointless side roles. They don’t get so much as a subplot. They’re in the movie so little, in fact, that I grew impatient trying to find a screenshot and gave up.
Here’s Gadget uncontrollably spurting goo onto Joely Fisher instead.
And there’s nothing fun about Rupert Everett as Claw. On the show, Claw’s one interesting characteristic was that you never saw his face or knew his true identity. While I don’t demand slavish devotion to the source material in my cartoon-to-live-action adaptations, depriving Claw of his one selling point seems a bit odd. Andy Dick is fun as his sidekick, though. In fact, Andy Dick’s performance may be this film’s only saving grace. Who thought anyone would ever utter those words?
Okay, I’m sorry, that was kind of harsh.
The only good news is that it is very short.
MOST REGRETTABLE MOMENT:
At the climax of Inspector Gadget‘s first big action scene, it stops in its tracks for a couple of seconds to become an entirely out of place Yahoo! commercial. Despite the plot having nothing to do with the internet or shitty search engines, a giant Yahoo! billboard falls on Claw, as that terrible Yahoo! yodel plays. It bothered me enough for me to count it as the worst moment in a children’s movie that involves the main character crushing an unsuspecting man’s balls in his giant metal hands.
I do not.
Go, go fuck yourself.
The Country Bears (2002)