Inspector Gadget 2 [2003]

Strictly for kids, this 1999 live-action feature version of the popular cartoon series seems long even at 80 minutes. As a video, it's easier to take and appreciate for what works best in the story: the special effects. Matthew Broderick plays the security guard who is physically transformed into a multi-use cyborg with a zillion attachments, from stilts to helicopter blades to skis. A crimefighter in raincoat and fedora, and equipped with a nifty Gadgetmobile, the hero investigates the death of a man linked to the villainous Sanford Scolex (Rupert Everett). Scolex, who blames Gadget for having to wear a prosthetic hand, develops an evil robot twin of the good inspector, causing much mischief and giving Broderick an opportunity to poke fun at his own performance of the virtuous Inspector. The action is shaky, the script plods along, and the effects soon take over; Everett has to go to the extremes of hamminess just to be seen above it. But children of a certain age will almost certainly engage with the more clever stuff and forgive the rest. --Tom Keogh

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