The Pink Panther (2006)
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|Movie Review by Max |
February 24th, 2006
I have not seen the original Peter Sellers films, though I heard they were hilarious films following his character, the nutty Inspector Clouseau. The original film, released in 1963, had Sellers hot on the tail of a jewel thief, who stole the famous Pink Panther Diamond. The diamond, hence the film's titles, The Pink Panther, is an enormous pink diamond.
Director Shawn Levy, also the director of the "swing and miss" film, Cheaper by The Dozen, obviously has experience with Steve Martin, but just can't bring out the humor that made the actor great. Then again, Martin hasn't had much of a humorous role since Bobby Bowfinger in Bowfinger back in 1998.
In The Pink Panther, a prequel to the 1963 film, the worst police officer in France, Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) has been called to the office of Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline).
While there, Clouseau accidentally stabs him with his badge, but is promoted to the Inspector position. He is given the hottest and most important case, the coach of the French Football (would be known as soccer here in the USA) has been assasinated and his ring ,containing the Pink Panther Diamond, has been stolen.
Admiring his new office, he is constantly distracted by his office assistant, the bookwormish Nicole (Emily Mortimer).
Dreyfus, appearing to be plotting something, equips Clouseau with a partner, Gilbert Parton (Jean Reno) who is obviously more skilled than he. They question many suspects, including the ex-coach's girlfriend, Xania (Beyonce Knowles, who dances around the screen as she does any other film).
Throughout the film, Clouseau tries to test Parton's alert status by randomly attacking him, but Closeau ends up with a fist in his face. While speaking to Xania, they come across another suspect, Yuri (Henry Czerny), who Closeau knows as "Yuwi, the twaina who twainz. "
I have seen advertisements for this film since probably December 2003, I remember seeing a large standee while attending a showing of Return Of The King, excited for the conclusion of the trilogy. I had heard it was to be released either late 2004 or early 2005, but apparently there were heavy complications.
As odd as it sounds, Jackie Chan was originally selected to play the role as Closeau's assistant, Parton. But to top that, Chris Tucker, was a casting choice for Closeau. Without these wise changes, we could of a had another lousy Rush Hour film. They'd call it, Rush Hour 3: Playing it French, it would probably be as terrible as it sounds.
The writing of the film is moderatly funny, the slapstick humor for the most part is worth a good chuckle or two even though after an hour and a half it is tiring. Len Blum wrote the screenplay who was also the writer for the original films starring Peter Sellers. Steve Martin also worked on the screenplay, but if the original films were as good as everyone claims, I think we know who is responsibe for the "desperate for laughs" passing of gas inside a recording studio scene.
Martin's accent is funny for the most part, even though at some points you can barely understand some of the words coming out of his mouth. His slapstick is fairly funny, as well as his one liners, but after a while both are equally tiresome.
I think the only credible performances in this film are from Jean Reno as Parton and Kevin Kline as Chief Inspector Dreyfus. Both equally act as they would any other film, and in this film also appear humorous though the mood is serious.
Though flooded with comic slapstick and one liners, the film fails to deliver as you grow tired of consistant acts of dry material that for the most part just ceases to entertain.
Martin at least tries to be funny in this film but appears to struggle getting back up on his feet. Overall I recommend skipping this one, that is unless you want to hear Clouseau's credit card numbers read in fast paced french.
Maybe there is a criminal out there who stole Martin's comedy, who knows maybe they stole the premise of this movie, but thankfully left enough sense to keep Chan and Tucker out.
Rated PG for occasional crude and suggested humor and language. Running time 92 minutes.
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