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The Pink Panther Movie Review (7/10)

Posted on March 5th, 2006 filed in Movie Reviews    |   

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The infamous Inspector Clouseau, immortalized by the genius of the late Peter Sellers, is back. Steve Martin plays the bumbling, fumbling, inept, idiotic, repressed and uniqely french accented inspector and the result is a mixed bag. Great for some, disappointing for others.

The movie is quite funny and even hilarious at times. Mr. Martin shines as a matter of fact and performs some of his funniest to date. What haunts him however is that, a good portion of the audience, namely fans and cult followers of the Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau, will come to theatres expecting, quite unreasonably if you think about it, a reincarnation of Peter Sellers, and for many this is the only reason why they came to the movie theatre in the first place, only to be disappointed that this is not the case.

So it is no surprise that those that are not familiar with the original Pink Panther series, find the movie hilarious while the others find it a flop.

In my opinion, Steve Martin manages to capture the essence and spirit of Sellers’ Clouseau but executes and delivers his own version of the character. In that regard, he succeeds well. I may even dare to say that current movie is funniest than many of its predecessors. Try to watch the original ‘The Pink Panther’ and see for yourself how unfunny it is (Other than the spectacular Sellers of course) in today’s standards.

In addition, Martin’s Clouseau has his own vulnerable and humane moments like when he finds out his boss was playing and using him all along. The sorrow in his face reaches from across the screen and that’s something we never saw in Sellers’ Clouseau.

The script is no academy winner but I doubt anyone coming to this movie is there for the plot. In addition, no plot of any prior Pink Panther movie is really that movie’s strong point.

Jean Reno is well cast as Clouseau assistant and is quite reminiscent of the old Kato.

Kevin Kline disappoints however as Dreyfuss, the pivotal character in the original series. Undoubtedly, the genius behind Otto of ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ should have delivered more.

Beyonce role is quite marginal and her dialogue is almost non existent. Besides her looks and a song, there’s not much to talk about. Not sure why she was even included in this movie.

The movie remains loyal to its time and place and captures some of what is French (Cycling, fast food dislike,..) as well as what is sooo 21st century (Viagra, ringtones,..).

Overall, I had fun throughout the movie and like others in the theatre really enjoyed my time. The trick is to keep in mind that this is not a remake but rather another installment in a well cherished series. Steve Martin has proved himself and is well worth becoming the new star of an undoubtedly more titles to come in this movie franchise. I, among many others, shall be waiting.

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3 Responses to “The Pink Panther Movie Review (7/10)”

  1. Martina Says:

    You know it is really interesting that you should say that in your review!

    I got tired of my boyfriend telling me how funnnnny the original Pink Panther is, so I finally rented it and watched. Well, please, let me tell you I didn’t even laugh…perhaps it was funny then and Steve Martin is funny now!!! So please all of you who have Peter Sellers idealized, do me a favor and watch the old movies now and you will have a sad change of heart!

  2. Henry Says:

    Pink Panther is an excellent light comedy….I have heard a lot about Peter Sellers and Inspector Clouseau from my older siblings who are a huge fan but I was too young at the time, and so as you said I went into the movie without any expectations and laughed my eyes out!

    Steve Martin is truly Hilarious, even days after watching the movie, I’d honestly start laughing on my own just by remembering the Hamburger scene…. Some of it is silly humor, but I cannot think of anybody that would give a better performance than Steve Martin….

    This movie is suitable for all the family; adults, teens and preteens, however, I have to admit that my eldest, a big fan of Peter Sellers, left the theater saying that it used to be funnier!

  3. Jamie Says:

    I am a huge, huge fan of Beyonce…Her music, her style, her dancing, her acting, everything!!!!

    However, I have to admit, that I was a tiny weeny bit disappointed by her role in Pink Panther… She did look glamorous like she usually does, she looked a bit fake and as if afraid t o show too many expressions on her face, even her body was not too flattering…..but of course the soundtrack is AMAZING!!!!

    Other than that, my friends and I loved the movie!

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