G2: Stop this felonious and unlawful act or I shall have to use force
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
Well the first Inspector Gadget movie, despite in little way resembling its source material, turned in a moderate profit. And thus in 2003 we got a straight-to-video sequel pretty much wiping out anything from the original including the cast (aside from D.L. Hughley as the Gadgetmobile). Despite taking more from the cartoon, it still isn’t good.
The story involves Inspector Gadget (French Stewart) experiencing a bunch of glitches and other problems in the midst of work. However his inventors have created a new gadget officer named G2 (Elaine Hendrix) who is a far better officer in every way thus providing Gadget competition. Meanwhile the nefarious Dr. Claw (Tony Martin) breaks out of prison and is causing mayhem around Riverton.
In many ways the movie tries to follow the cartoon more closely with Penny snooping around, not showing Dr. Claw’s face, etc. but the movie is heavily lost in whether it wants to be its own thing or be like the cartoon. You still see a lot of Dr. Claw’s face although the movie does attempt to hide it to an extent. But Tony Jay’s performance makes no attempt to sound like the original. The same can be said for French Stewart’s performance as Gadget. While he is better than Broderick, it doesn’t feel like he’s trying to do an impression of Don Adams or give it his own spin. This really doesn’t feel like it can appeal to any audience. Even when he is trying to be comedic his delivery just comes off as odd. Penny snoops around like in the cartoon with Brain but he’s portrayed as a real dog here which is confusing as though he plays an active part, he’s being portrayed as real dog, and thus can’t do anything he does in the show. Anyone who was a fan of the first movie isn’t going to connect to this one as the movie changes practically everything from there. And fans of the cartoon aren’t going to be huge fans of this movie, as it has none of the cartoon’s charm.
In regards to other characters, Elaine Hendrix as G2 wasn’t that great. The one strange thing is that the human Gadget for some reason falls in love with her. Her character is pretty much a machine and the humor in her robotic traits gets old fast.
Much like the first movie, the effects are downright terrible. It’s horribly dated and the movie relies on it far too often. Unlike in the first movie where they would mix it with some practical effects, they just use CG here. It’s so much in your face that it really leaves a bad impression.
Inspector Gadget 2 is a bad movie but at least it tried in some shape and form to capture a part of the cartoon. Even though it got bad however, it didn’t to the point where it was painfully bad. The problem is that it has no clear focus in its attempt in adapting those aspects and as a result few audience can enjoy it. All around, this movie is just plain forgettable.