04 July 2014

Movie Review: "Inspector Gadget 2"

Rated: G (US) / PG (Canada)
Starring: French Stewart, Elaine Hendrix, and Caitlin Wachs
Released: March 11, 2013 (VHS/DVD)
The once legendary crime fighting cyborg Inspector Gadget (French Stewart) is bored out of his mind; since the evil Claw and his minions were thrown in prison, there hasn't been crime to fight in Riverton.  His superpowers are also glitching like crazy, and always do anything but what he tells them to do.  When Riverton introduces G2 (Elaine Hendrix), a new female version of the Gadget, the original Inspector wants to help her...but she works alone.  Gadget's old nemesis The Claw has escaped, and has yet another plan for world domination.  G2 and Gadget's niece Penny (Caitlin Wachs) are willing to help Gadget overcome his glitches and thwart Claw once and for all...but will that be enough?
Based on the classic cartoon.

The Good
Well, honestly...the fun and insanity of this movie overrides any complaints I might have.  Also, I must give kudos to actress Elaine Hendrix, who did a very good job playing a robot.  The action sequences--though cheesy--were well-done.  Not only that, but the clean content--no profanity or sex--was a great bonus.  Positive elements abounded, and there were some truly funny moments.

The Bad
Most kids likely won't notice, but the special effects in this movie felt like something from a newer incarnation of Power Rangers instead of what you'd see on the big screen; then again, this was direct-to-video.  There was one brief reference to smoking.  The violence in this film is more "PG" than "G"; I'd say the most apt rating would be "TV-Y7-FV" (the last two letters standing for "fantasy violence".)  Probably the one thing that may bother people the most is that, save for D. L. Hughley as the voice of the Gadgetmobile, none of the cast of the original film are anywhere to be found.

Just recently, I came across a film review that said this:
In the last decade or so, action movies have almost completely migrated into PG-13 territory. They've typically earned that rating due to intense stylized violence and the implication (if not depiction) of scores of innocents being killed (see virtually every comic book adaptation recently) and/or the maddening infusion of profanity and sensuality (the entire Transformers franchise comes to mind). Action fare aimed at—and appropriate for—younger audiences has all but disappeared.
If that's the case--and it likely is--then we need more movies like Inspector Gadget 2.  Most teens and adults might find it stupid, but the kid in me really enjoyed this movie.  It's just another Disney production that gives me faith in that corporation, and makes me excited to see what they will do with the Star Wars saga.  It may not be groundbreaking cinema, but it harkens back to the time when movies were supposed to be fun flights of fantasy, not full of gritty realism.

Score: 4.5/5

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