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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 Matt Mulcahey

"How do you say excrement in French?"
2 stars

I’ve read several reviews proclaiming that original Inspector Jacques Clouseau portrayer Peter Sellers must be rolling over in his grave over the series’ latest incarnation starring Steve Martin. If Sellers turned over in his grave every time a Pink Panther flick tarnished his legacy, he would be one dizzy dead guy by now.

Sellers starred in only five of the ten Panther flicks, the last being 1978’s Revenge of the Pink Panther. The attempts to revive the series following his death in 1980 have ranged from disgraceful (1982’s Trail of the Pink Panther cobbled together Sellers outtakes to milk a few more bucks out of the late genius’ corpse) to extremely ill conceived (1993’s Son the Pink Panther attempted to pass off Robert Benigni as Sellers’ son). In other words, trampling on the memory of Sellers’ beloved bumbling French inspector is far from a new phenomenon, and this newest Pink Panther is far from the most egregious offender.

The plot for this Clouseau misadventure begins with the murder of the French national soccer team’s coach (Jason Statham) via poison dart at the conclusion of a high profile “football” match. In the ensuing confusion, the coach’s ring (which contains the valuable Pink Panther diamond) is stolen. The suspects include the coach’s pop diva girlfriend (Beyonce Knowles, continuing to exhibit zero screen presence) and a casino owner (Roger Rees) who suspects Statham has been skimming money from their entrepreneurial business partnership.

Needing an incompetent decoy to distract the media while he solves the crime himself, Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline, displaying none of the manic flair Herbert Lom brought to the role) promotes Martin’s klutzy Clouseau to the rank of inspector and assigns him to the case under the watchful eye of patrolman Jean Reno (stuck in the thankless role of straight man).

While Sellers’ Panther films were dependant on the actor’s impeccable deadpan timing and director Blake Edward’s gift for broad physical comedy, in the hands of Cheaper By the Dozen and Just Married director Shawn Levy the series turns to fart jokes, the elderly getting hit in the face and Martin’s incessant mugging.

The latter is the biggest miscalculation. Give Martin credit for crafting his own take on Clouseau (complete with a new accent that occasionally resembles the priest from The Princess Bride with its butchering of the letter W), but his vision of the character completely misses the very essence of why Clouseau was funny in the first place.

The brilliance of Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau was that the actor never let on that he was in on the joke, remaining oblivious to the carnage his ineptness wrought around him. Martin retains the character’s trademark trench coat and ridiculous French accent, but eschews Sellers' straight-faced approach in favor constantly winking at the audience as if to make sure they known the character is intended to be ridiculous.

Further bastardizing the character, Levy adds a sprinkling of saccharine sentimentality while giving Clouseau a love interest in equally co-ordination challenged secretary Emily Mortimer, both the sort of test-audience pandering subplots to be from a journeyman TV hack turned studio yes man.

Martin, however, I expect more from. Or at least I used to before his career detoured into a series of glorified sitcom pilots such as Bringing Down the House and two Cheaper by the Dozen flicks.

Then again, how can you blame the guy? Those films represent the biggest box office hits of his four-decade movie career. Cheaper By the Dozen alone outgrossed The Spanish Prisoner, Joe Gould’s Secret, Novocain, Bowfinger and Shopgirl combined.

If mainstream audiences line up for Martin’s dumbed-down kiddie schtick and ignore his more cerebral efforts, can you blame the guy for slumming it in the former while banking a mammoth paycheck to boot? I can’t, and judging by the $150 million-plus worldwide gross of The Pink Panther it probably won’t be long before its sequel time and Sellers is sent spinning all over again.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13936&reviewer=255
originally posted: 06/19/06 18:41:10
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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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