Publicity Stills of "The Pink Panther"
(Courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Steve Martin, Kelvin Kline, Jean Reno, Beyonce, Kristin Chenoweth, Emily Mortimer
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG

Opening Day : 16 February 2006

Synopsis :

A world famous soccer coach has been murdered and his priceless ring has been stolen - a ring set with the stunning diamond known as the Pink Panther. The French government needs a master detective to solve the crime and recover the gem… but he’s not available, so they recruit Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Comic superstar Steve Martin stars as Clouseau in an all-new adventure of The Pink Panther. A stunning pop star (Beyonce), a soccer player, a Chinese assassin – who committed the crime? And can anyone solve the case? Clouseau and his partner, Ponton (Reno) must unmask the murderer and keep their boss, Dreyfus (Kline), from taking credit for the victory, all without bringing the French legal system to a screeching halt. Get ready to be tickled pink.

Movie Review:

As what Steve Martin puts it, this is not a remake of the past Blake Edwards’ “Pink Panther” series but more of a re-imagining. Laced with a phony thick French accent, Steve plays Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a fumbling, accident-prone policeman who hails from a small village in France.

The story begins with an introduction by Dreyfus (played by Kelvin Kline), the police boss of Clouseau who has an agenda of his own when he hire the latter to solve the case of the murder of a world renowned soccer coach (Jason “Transporter” Statham in a cameo) and the missing diamond dubbed the “Pink Panther”. The so-called murder case is just an excuse for the screenwriters (Steve Martin included) and director Shawn Levy (“Cheaper by the dozen”) to pepper it with lots of slapstick antics. Even if you flip through any one of the Hardy Boys series from your childhood days and compare it with “The Pink Panther”, the latter still lose out by an edge on the detective part.

“The Pink Panther” is jam-packed with an incredulous amount of Clouseau’s clumsy pranks and silly frolics, one after another. Watch Clouseau batter with Dreyfus, watch Clouseau clowning with his partner, Ponto (the excellent French actor Jean Reno), watch Clouseau lusting after a pop star (Beyonce), watch Clouseau getting cyclists to trouble…It’s Steve Martin who carries the movie throughout. This white-haired comedian who has been entertaining the audience since the early 80’s is back to his “The Three Amigos” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” roots. Besides putting on that deadpan consistent French accent, Steve in fact is the soul of “The Pink Panther”. While some of the jokes are more on the lame side then rib tickling, there are the rest which worked. One particular skit stood out, one involving a Chinese woman spouting Cantonese being interrogated by Clouseau. Now without spitting any spoilers, just pay attention to the dialogue and imposed subtitles. We never know whether is it the filmmakers’ intention or a pure overlook on their part. However, it sure is hilarious to the Asian audiences.

And then there is a pretty exciting cameo from Clive Owen as Agent 007, not surprising MGM were trying to tease the audience by cashing on the once-vacant most popular agent role in the universe. At least, Owen has a short exciting stint to compensate for the loss. Yes, he’s indeed charming and suave in that dark tuxedo.

It can be a tad confusing for the audience towards the end to find the rather incompetent Clouseau wrapping and solving the murder case within minutes despite his unstoppable fumbling. Somehow, Clouseau has the unexplained ability to drift in and out of his crazy, havoc-wrecking ways. Again, are we watching “The Pink Panther” for his incredulous crime-solving tactics? Apparently not. This Pink Panther is not a classic however it still manage to serve some pretty good laughs all because of Steve Martin.

Movie Rating:

Review by Linus Tee

(This Pink Panther will tickle you pink when you are feeling blue)

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