"Twice the gadgets and twice the fun!"
But half the quality and half the budget as well...
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Movie: Inspector Gadget 2 also known as simply IG2
Directed by Alex Zamm
Release date 2003
Despite some lukewarm reception from both critics and fans of the original 1980s cartoon, Disney's live action Inspector Gadget film ended up bringing in enough money to call it a success.
And warrant a sequel.
Inspector Gadget 2 or simply IG2, the name it usually goes by, was this time directed by Alex Zamm, a modest director that many won't recognize although he has made several movies over the years, some sequels as well and most smaller productions.
This film being the obvious sequel it is, like Disney's been doing since The Return of Jafar in 1994, it is a much cheaper sequel. Released direct-to-video.
Inspector Gadget 2 was also entirely shot in Australia. Next to Disney's Australian studios where most of the animated films have actually been produced as well.
The story's pretty straightforward since the movie is aimed at children.
One year after the first one, the city of Rivertonis now the most peaceful place in America.
Since the Inspector Gadget thwarted Dr. Claw's schemes, there has been no more criminal activies in the entire city.
Assigned to simpler duties like regulating speed on the highway, Gadget longs for more action-packed missions.
But he has been increasingly glitchy lately. Normal. He always was meant to be but a prototype for the future of law enforcement*.
That is exactly when Baxter - local police scientist - decides to unveil a new female Gadget-type android. "Gadget Model #2" aka G2!
Meanwhile, Dr. Claw escapes from the Riverton Prison. Did they all forget about him? No matter.. he has planned one big return to the front scene.
Claw is going to steal 5 trillion dollars worth of gold from the Federal Reserve in Riverton!! (over-the-top much? NON-SENSE!)
Chief Quimby is getting increasingly mad with Gadget. Between his glitches and his ability to screw up all their operations... Quimby is left with only one choice: Get Gadget out of the department!
In the end, Gadget teams up with his niece Penny and G2 to track down Dr. Claw and put a stop to the MADman!
And save the city from being stopped forever! Literally!
As you can imagine, none of the actors from the previous theatrical film feature came back.
With the exception of D. L. Hughley who returned to voice the annoying Gadgetmobile. Really? Did we need that?
This time the film takes a lot from the cartoon. I mean, as much as they can considering the past movie's origin story.
This time Gadget and Claw are never referenced as John Brown and Sanford Scolex. Although several hints seem to confirm it's still canon.
Dr. Claw is actually never seen entirely, his face always hidden, either by a gas mask, a fedora, etc. He takes headquarters in an old abandoned Bowling Factory (?!) - how convenient! - where he orders his team of lackeys throughout the film.
His henchmen range from Power Rangers-villains to Bayou Billy, an albino and the Shinobi apparently.
Sidenote: All movies should have ninjas in them. Mostly as background character even if they end up not interacting with anybody.
Even the dog, Brain, gets to briefly talk.
This time French Stewart takes the titular role over Matthew Broderick. His acting his okay, trying to sound in-between the actual Gadget and Broderick. But he ends up giving an unlikeable personality to Gadget, what with his know-it-all attitude unlike the goodhearted goofy absent minded inspector from the cartoon.
Tony Martin takes over Rupert Everett as Dr. Claw. He also goes for the cartoon version, with a much deeper voice. But between his imposing figure and mannerism, it makes such a distant completely different Claw from the previous it almost seems like another character. (they could also gone with that route since he was mostly called Solex in the last film)
The rest of the background cast is all filled in by local Australian actors.
IG2 is more juvenile than its predecessor. Heavy on slapstick and silly attempts at jokes.
There's some distracting McDonald's and Coca Cola product placements. I guess they tried to find some fund for the overly used CGi somewhere..
They aimed to stick closer to the cartoon but somehow ended up with something that doesn't try too much.
I believe this movie could have been much better had they simply made it standalone, apart from the first one. Or at least have some love and respect for the source material rather than blindly taking cues from it like a simple uninspired copy-paste work....
Overall, this is... as good you expect a straight-to-video sequel to a cartoon-to-live-action film to be.
I suppose some kids might enjoy it and laugh at one or two sight jokes. But really, IG2 takes its audience for granted and doesn't bother with providing much quality.
Sometimes cringe worthy, lots of unnecessary goofy sounds and jokes one after the other. They try too much to make it pass as a "cartoon movie" that it is almost insulting to cartoons actually...
The movie wants itself a better sequel in true spirit to the show, but it simply end up like a bad taste in your mouth...
I give it:
0.5 / 3 Urkels!