Inspector Gadget

Go Go to Hell

In essence, Disney kid flicks haven’t changed that much. Films like Inspector Gadget aren’t much different than Million Dollar Duck or The Monkey’s Uncle with several million bucks of special effects thrown in.

Based on a semi-popular TV cartoon, Matthew Broderick stars as an idiot who gets stuck in an exploding car while trying to foil a robbery at the research center where he is a security guard. A sympathetic scientist (Joely Fischer) rebuilds him as a walking toolchest to become the city’s first cyborg supercop.

Not much of this makes any sense, and it’s all accompanied by nonstop cartoon sound effects and silly gags. It’s like some kind of Robocop rip-off directed by the Teletubbies – kind of amusing, but also pretty creepy. I mean, there’s a scene where a robot murders somebody early on, but the whole thing is sugarcoated – even laughed at – immediately.

Broderick, who was so good in the recent Election, falls back on his automatic-pilot mode of wide-eyed innocence – except when he essays the role of Gadget’s delightfully evil twin. He may as well be Dean Jones. The rest of the cast is a typical mix of recognizable character actors running through their shtick. Only Rupert Everett (Cemetery Man) stands out as the deliciously villainous “Claw” – at least he seems like he’s having a good time.

As stupid as My Favorite Martian and Flubber put together, this one’s for undiscriminating audiences under 10 only.

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