Sunday, January 1, 2017

Superhero Media: Inspector Gadget (1999)

This is a terrible film. It's a prime example of a cheap Disney cash-in on a property that they've acquired and need to squeeze some quick cash out of. The plot is basic, the acting mostly terrible and the CGI not great, even for the era. It doesn't take a great amount of experience with cinema to recognise that Inspector Gadget is trash, but when I started to research other reviews of the film, yes, I do research for these sometimes, the main complaint I could find was that it took too many liberties with the source material, the original animated series. Now, I remember having an Inspector Gadget toy, so I must have watched the programme, but I could not recall any of it, so I had to go back and watch a couple of episodes to get a feel for it; I picked a couple randomly and gave them a watch. 

The cartoon is garbage. I know it's something of a sacred cow for a certain generation, but if you're the kind of person that complains about Team Rocket "blasting off" in every episode of Pokemon, get over it, because Inspector Gadget is just as repetitive and formulaic. So, we have a garbage, but fondly remembered, kids programme from the 1980s, with a live-action Disney retreading that clearly no one cared about, even slightly. No wonder this is terrible. It's played for cheap laughs, has a cartoonish appearance and is cut poorly. Is there anything good in here, or do we have another Super Buddies on our hands? Well, the costume actually looks pretty good, even the LED ticker display on Gadget's hat, so, visually, at least, a live adaptation is workable. I like the idea of an evil imposter Gadget, even if the execution is terrible here. While watching this, one odd idea kept popping into my head that I just couldn't shake...

I would watch a "dark and gritty" Inspector Gadget live action reboot. Yes, I may rail against the 1990s/2000s trend to "darken" the colourful characters of superhero comics (which DC and WB still seem intent on doing), but this character, I feel, would not merely fail to be terrible with such a treatment, but may even improve slightly. I won't go into too much detail here, stay tuned for my new "The Pitch" entries, but, suffice to say, an incompetent, cyborg detective thrown into a more realistic setting, having to deal with modern crime and criminals, could make an interesting film, unlike this shit. 

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