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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 Peter Sobczynski

"Not great but certainly not a beaumb."
4 stars

Perhaps it was because I went into “The Pink Panther” with a less than reverent attitude towards those original films–as much as I love the early entries in the series (the ones that still contained such quaint elements as wit and style), the later ones gradually became increasingly labored exercises in which the slapstick excesses grew as broad and labored as Peter Sellers’s accent. or perhaps it was because I was in the mood for something silly after a long day of watching films involving South African criminals learning about redemption, weirdo Russian vampires and Paul Walker trapped in the Antarctic with sled dogs–whatever the reason, I found myself laughing at this version far more than I expected to. It isn’t a masterpiece by any means and I’m not quite sure yet if I would actually recommend it to any paying audiences, but it is nowhere near the disaster that some had predicted and it contains several big laughs throughout and a good number of smaller ones as well.

The plot . . . as if the plot is why someone would go to a “Pink Panther” film. A fabulously rich soccer team owner is murdered in the middle of a game in front of thousands of people and his infamous Pink Panther diamond ring is stolen. The attention-seeking Chief Inspector Dreyfuss (Kevin Kline, getting to reuse his “French Kiss” accent) hits upon a brilliant plan–he will assign a bumbling idiot to publicly investigate the case in the eye of the media while he conducts a clandestine investigation that will climax with him publicly capturing the murderer and winning the Legion of Honor. In a move that will shock no one, incompetent small-town cop Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) is selected and, with the help of competent cop Ponton (Jean Reno, voicing the only authentic French accent on display), tries to get to the bottom of the case. Suspects begin to emerge. Could it be the team trainer, who didn’t like the owner? Could it be the man’s business partner, with whom he was involved in a failed restaurant? Could it be Xenia (Beyonce Knowles), the man’s gorgeous girlfriend who publicly threatened to kill him a couple of days before the crime because of his infidelities and who has been seen sneaking off to secretly visit diamond merchants in New York about a pink stone? Of course, Clouseau decides that Xenia is beyond suspicion, mostly because she looks like Beyonce Knowles and wears the kind of dresses that would cause even Sherlock Holmes to take his eyes off the prize.<

The plot is nonsense, to be sure, and it is to the film’s credit, I suppose, that it treats it as little more than a laundry line on which to hang a collection of Clouseau’s physical and verbal mishaps. While some of them go on too long without ever quite working (especially an extended sequence in which Clouseau destroys a bathroom while pursuing a missing Viagra pill), a fair number of the jokes score pretty well. I enjoyed Clouseau’s first press conference, in which he speculates that the criminal responsible for the theft is probably taping him right now. There is a bit involving a spinning globe that pays homage to one of Sellers’s best-known bits while going off in a new and inspired direction. On the verbal end, there is a hilarious bit in which he desperately tries to pull the word “hamburger” from his unwilling lips. Best of all, there is a bit in which he enters a casino and runs into, shall we say, another familiar character (to say who it is or who plays him would ruin the gag)–at first the joke seems like a silly throwaway but it unexpectedly develops into a glorious goof that is the highpoint of the film.<

To compare Steve Martin’s work as Clouseau to that of Sellers is a bit pointless–it is so indebted to Sellers that it often seems more like an homage more than anything else. That said, as imitations go, this is a pretty good one since Martin, like Sellers, has both that rare gift of doing something completely stupid without ever seeming as if he is doing anything stupid in his own mind and a facility for pulling off extreme verbal and physical comedy, often at the same time. That said, I must admit to idly speculating what the film might have been like if Kevin Kline or Jean Reno, inspired farceurs in their own rights, had been assigned the role, especially since neither one has much of anything else to do. As for Knowles, she isn’t required to do much more than to stand around looking gorgeous and she does that admirably.

“The Pink Panther” isn’t a modern comedy classic by any means–I think that “Firewall” may have more laughs in it and that isn’t even supposed to be a comedy–and I suspect that if I had seen it on a less dour day on the moviegoing beat, I might have had an entirely different reaction to it. That said, it does have some really funny moments and those of you in the mood for nothing more than a 90-minute lighter-than-air goof may find yourselves susceptible to its charms, especially if you catch it at a bargain matinee. It may be nothing more than a pointless, money-grubbing attempt to exploit a familiar property but as such things go, it is one that doesn’t hurt too much when you are watching it or when you are comparing it to the originals.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13936&reviewer=389
originally posted: 02/09/06 23:53:18
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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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