Inspector Gadget | Chicago Reader

Inspector Gadget

A befuddled superhero (Matthew Broderick, whose real face must be almost as malleable as the plastic and digital elements of his semianimated character), the brainchild of a scientist he has a crush on, fights crime using objects that emerge from his fingertips, neck, or trench coat in a tale that nicely handles any innuendo by pitching it as romantic rather than sexual. The movie's wit is consistent—there's even something resembling feminism in the self-conscious exploitation of stereotypes, as when an android divulges that she's “programmed to be a cheerleader,” then demonstrates what this means. A judicious mix of the lightly gory, the generously cartoonish, and the unexpectedly atmospheric makes for action that's scary yet unintimidating. David Kellogg directed a screenplay by Kerry Ehrin and Zak Penn, based on cartoon characters created by Andy Heyward, Jean Chalopin, and Bruno Bianchi; with Joely Fisher, Rupert Everett, and Michelle Trachtenberg.

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