The Pink Panther Review
I have a question for you, which I'll give you my answer at the end. Here goes.
Remember when Steve Martin was funny?
We all know the basic premise of these movies, but hey, let's hear it one more time. When a star soccer coach is murdered and his priceless Pink Panther diamond stolen, France is in an uproar. Fortunately, Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) is on the case. He doesn't have a clue, but for Clouseau, that's a minor detail. With his partner, Gilbert Ponton (Jean Reno), he careens from one misadventure to the next, leaving mayhem in his wake from the boulevards of Paris to the streets of New York. Will he seduce the pop diva, Xania (Beyonce Knowles)? Will he push Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) over the edge? Will he catch the killer and recover the diamond? With Inspector Clouseau, anything is possible.
This isn't a remake, it's a continuation of the series, just so that you're aware, which is why it's hard to not draw parallels, which brings me to the point in which I say I suppose there's two ways of viewing this, one is forgetting everything you know about the Pink Panther movies and the other isn't.
Let's be frank, it's awful. I mean it's really, really terrible. We're talking so bad it makes Star Wars Episodes 1-3 look almost watchable. If you view it blind, and most of the time I wished I was, then it is a very unfunny slapstick movie, with a large famous cast. If you view it with your memory intact of the Sellers classics, then you'll just be yelling “That's so wrong” a lot at the screen. While the essence of Clouseau is intact, with his bumbling, accident prone nature, it seems very forced here, almost to the point of hammering it home. Each gag is laboured and flogged to death. Each possible interaction from Clouseau HAS to be a slapstick gag and I mean EVERYTHING. The interaction between Clouseau and Nicole is a running sexual innuendo, from oral sex to just plain sex, which I don't ever recall happening in the originals. A globe that is knocked over, running down stairs and striking cyclists appears 30 minutes after the initial gag is used. In fact, knocking down cyclists occurs too often as well.
Martin HAS got a gift for comedy, but he shouldn't have bothered here - we know you shouldn't mess with classics and when you're trying to fill the shows of someone as legendary as Peter Sellers, you should just walk away. Jean Reno is fine here, acting as a foil for Martin's poor antics. Kline is simply not Herbert Lom, in any shape size or form and Beyonce should stick to singing, which this movie seems only to serve as a vehicle for that particular career, it's certainly not for any other talent on display.
So, my question, do you remember when Steve Martin was funny?
After this, only just.