Inspector Gadget 2 - Movie Review
by Michael Elliott

Artistic Rating: *
Comments: Go go gadget sequel. This direct to video release is fine for the kids.
Directed By: Alex Zamm
Starring: French Stewart, Elaine Hendrix, Tony Martin, Caitlin Wachs, Mark Mitchell, Sigrid Thornton
Written By: Ron Anderson, William Robertson, Alex Zamm
Rated: PG for mild violence/peril
Running Time: 1 hr : 18 min
Scripture References: Proverbs 2:4-5 & Acts 17:11

Films designed for our children's entertainment do not always get a theatrical release. Studios recognize that this particular target audience is better served at home with a video or DVD which can be played over and over and over again. Disney Studios in particular has made a practice out of building familiarity in the theaters but capitalizing on that familiarity in the home video market.

Their latest direct to video release is the sequel to their 1999 children's film Inspector Gadget. The original stars of the film, Matthew Broderick and Rupert Everett, have not returned. Donning the gadget filled trenchcoat for the sequel is French Stewart (3rd Rock From The Sun).

Inspector Gadget continues to be plagued by glitches which is to be expected since he is a prototype and the first of his kind. The process has since been corrected and the new and improved model, simply called G2 (Elaine Hendrix, Here on Earth) has just come off the line making the good inspector "go go obsolete."

Meanwhile Gadget's arch-nemesis, The Claw (Tony Martin, The Big House) has escaped from prison with plans to continue his quest for world domination. Gadget, along with his niece Penny (Caitlin Wachs), try to insert themselves into the case even though neither is wanted.

Inspector Gadget 2 is silly and colorful, using broad slapstick humor and inventive gadgets or inventions which will tickle the littlest child who may still be within us all. I mean, who among us wouldn't want a helicopter hat or a bark translator or a rocket scooter that can fit inside a shoe?

French Stewart does not have the boyish charm and naivete of Matthew Broderick and his version of Inspector Gadget is a bit more acerbic and buffoonish. But over the short 78 minute running time, his character manages to grow on you just as he does on the all-robot G2 whose plutonium powered heart feels an attraction for the battery powered, glitch-afflicted Gadget.

Director Alex Zamm (Chairman of the Board) keeps the pace moving with plenty of cartoon-like action. There's nothing overly frightening or offensive in this PG rated film. It's an amusing, innocuous way to entertain the family for a little over an hour.

One thing the film does is show Penny actually doing the legwork needed to trace the clues which lead to the whereabouts of The Claw. All too often, films like these will take shortcuts in the solving of their mysteries by having some secondary character suddenly appear in the last reel with the necessary key that the hero needs to save the day. Mysteries are rarely solved that way. Research takes time and effort but it is always rewarded. It is the method we use to uncover the mysteries that God would reveal to us.

If thou seekest her (wisdom) as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear (respect) of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:4-5 (KJV)

No gadgets. No glitches. Just good old fashioned studying will lead us to the point where we can be fully equipped with all the resources of God with all the answers to the questions we seek.

Inspector Gadget 2 arrived in video stores on March 11th.

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