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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.53%
Worth A Look: 22.37%
Just Average: 10.53%
Pretty Crappy: 26.32%

7 reviews, 34 user ratings

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Pink Panther, The (2006)
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by EricDSnider

"Another bad comedy, and still Steve Martin comes out smelling like a rose."
2 stars

Steve Martin's remake of "The Pink Panther" is an ill-conceived attempt at creating a hybrid of his past successes. It has the loopy slapstick comedy of something like "The Jerk" or "Three Amigos," combined with the family-friendly warm-and-fuzzies of, say, "Parenthood" or "Father of the Bride."

The result is hideous and malformed, and it sweats and wheezes as it lurches through the countryside in search of someone who will laugh at it. Someone? Anyone? Please? I'll fall down again! I'll mispronounce some more words! Can't anyone love a monster?

This is sad business for those of us who love Steve Martin. Last week he hosted "Saturday Night Live," a show badly in need of repair (as it is every two or three years). Martin didn't fix it, but he did rejuvenate it, a little, just for one night. He's a brilliant writer and comedic actor, with an amazing gift for absurdity. When he's careful, he can spin surreal comic gold.

You see some of that in "The Pink Panther," in which he steps into Peter Sellers' shoes -- what the hell, Sellers wasn't using them, being dead and all -- to play the legendary Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a character whom it is impossible to describe without using the word "bumbling." There are certain lines of dialogue that feel vibrantly Martin-esque -- he does have co-screenplay credit, under Len Blum ("Meatballs") -- and a few moments that have the mark of inspired lunacy about them. (In a montage of some of Clouseau's past failures as a cop, there's a shot of him being pursued through a village square by a herd of goats. What could a police officer have done to make so many goats that angry? I think I'm adding goats to the list of animals that are always funny.)

But the other 95 percent of the film is unbelievable tedium, an endless procession of forced shtick and cartoon-style anarchy that's been watered down into bland, tasteless froth. The director is Shawn Levy, whose previous comedies, "Just Married" and "Cheaper by the Dozen," got by on their charm and their human characters. But Levy's in farce territory now, and that calls for a different set of skills, skills which he does not appear to have. In more than one instance, I noted that the IDEA for a sight gag was much funnier than the execution of it -- in other words, that it wasn't shot and edited properly.

The story has a famed soccer coach being murdered at a game, and a ginormous diamond called the Pink Panther being stolen from his finger at the same time. For reasons I don't exactly understand, the French Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) intentionally chooses the most idiotic cop he knows to work the case, and that of course is Inspector Clouseau.

Teamed with a more competent cop named Ponton (Jean Reno) and armed with nothing but enthusiasm, Clouseau sets out to find the diamond, uncover the murderer, and bring honor to France. This means surveilling the pop star (Beyonce Knowles) who was the victim's girlfriend and who may be a suspect. But the important question is, will Beyonce get to sing a song in the movie??!?!??!?!?!?!!

There are people who are outraged by the mere idea of this movie, saying Peter Sellers was a genius whose work shouldn't be reenacted by others. They may have a point, but look at it this way: If a remake HAD to happen -- and it really was inevitable, this being Hollywood -- Steve Martin was truly the best option. Like Sellers, he has a knack for both controlled physical lunacy and silly verbal shenanigans. It's been a while since it's happened, but when Martin's material and his support staff (e.g., his director) are good, there's no one funnier.

You can sense that here. And if nothing else, you can appreciate how fully committed Martin is to the mediocrity he's dealing with. Someday, perhaps the stars will align and he will once again make us laugh as hard as he did in "The Man with Two Brains" or "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." Until then, well, at least he hasn't given up.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13936&reviewer=247
originally posted: 02/10/06 04:00:47
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User Comments

8/02/09 David A. Steve Martin makes the role of Clouseau his own in this one--subtle humor, but well done. 4 stars
1/22/09 Aesop Watched this to refresh my memory for when PP2 opens. I found myself rooting for Dreyfuss. 1 stars
3/16/08 Pamela White Martin is funny but origional is better 3 stars
2/18/08 Servo Just a disgrace to the original (and Jean Reno) and more importantly, not at all funny. 1 stars
4/16/07 Indrid Cold Could have been worse. 3 stars
3/05/07 David Pollastrini Peter sellers must be turning over in his grave 1 stars
10/10/06 jermaine Justin, you're a retard. Signed, Them Losers 1 stars
9/25/06 justin dont listen to what them losers have to say it is the best movie and funniset comedy. 5 stars
9/21/06 Anthony Feor It's a good remake 4 stars
6/30/06 Gerry Irons Extremely Ill conceived- nice try but missed everything Blake Edwards ever tried to do 2 stars
6/22/06 Caiphn I really don't understand how anyone found this at all funny. Annoying and lame. 1 stars
6/20/06 Ole Man Bourbon A poorly-made movie with some funny/stupid jokes, but Martin and Reno make it kinda fun. 3 stars
6/06/06 Quigley the movie was hilarious. I laughed so hard; Steve Martin's scenes were classic 5 stars
5/04/06 Marcia Lartz Guess we shouldn't expect anyone to fill Peter Seller's shoes. 3 stars
5/03/06 SylvesterFox007 Not as hilairous as the Peter Sellers films, but still an extremely enjoyable romp. 5 stars
4/21/06 Jack Great comedy ! 4 stars
3/27/06 Brian Meyer In a nutshell... Everything Steve Martin touches turns to shit! 1 stars
3/24/06 Mike H truly funny - but Snider has a point about shooting and editing for a few of its sight gags 4 stars
3/22/06 Dk Its a decent lttle film 3 stars
3/20/06 luke excellent, first class comedy 5 stars
3/20/06 Vega Oh why? Fuel piracy with this crap! 1 stars
3/12/06 Rio Calling this movie stupid would be an insult to stupid movies. 1 stars
3/12/06 Hydrogen Although it was kinda funny, it didn't do anything special. 3 stars
3/10/06 Green Gremlin What next...Jim Carrey as Maxwell Smart ?!? 2 stars
3/06/06 SylvesterFox007 Not as hilairous as the Peter Sellers films, but still an extremely enjoyable romp. 5 stars
3/04/06 Quigley formulaic with some vulgar bits, but holy crap! the movie was down-right hilarious! 5 stars
2/21/06 buttman it was funny 5 stars
2/12/06 KingNeutron DO NOT waste your money - I walked out after 15min, and I'm a FAN of Martin+PP! 1 stars
2/12/06 Madi I loved the movie Steve Martin's act as Clouseau was funny. 5 stars
2/12/06 Ole Man Bourbon Once I got comfortable with Martin's Clouseau, I was able to enjoy it. Hit and miss though 3 stars
2/11/06 Perry Mason Steve Martin's slapstick act is tired. This was just an embarrassment. 1 stars
2/11/06 Eevil Wolfie Funnier then expected, although most of it is slapstick humor. 4 stars
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  10-Feb-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 13-Jun-2006



Directed by
  Shawn Levy

Written by
  Len Blum
  Steve Martin

  Steve Martin
  Beyonce Knowles
  Jean Reno
  Kevin Kline
  Emily Mortimer
  Kristin Chenoweth

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