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  Publicity Stills of
"The Pink Panther 2"
(Courtesy of Columbia TriStar)

Genre: Comedy/Mystery
Director: Harald Zwart
Cast: Steve Martin, Emma Bunton, John Cleese, Jean Reno, Andy Garcia, Alfred Molina, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Lily Tomlin, Emily Mortimer
RunTime: 1 hr 32 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thepinkpanther2/

Opening Day: 19 February 2009


Steve Martin reprises the role of intrepid-if-bumbling French police detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau. When legendary treasures from around the world are stolen, including the priceless Pink Panther Diamond, Chief Inspector Dreyfus (John Cleese) is forced to assign Clouseau to a team of international detectives and experts charged with catching the thief and retrieving the stolen artifacts.

Movie Review:

Jean Reno’s got a critically acclaimed 1994 movie named Leon: The Professional listed under his filmography. Emily Mortimer starred in Woody Allen’s well received Match Point (2005). Andy Garcia turned in memorable performances in Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen. Alfred Molina has got Spider-Man 2’s (2004) Doc Ock and Frida’s (2002) Diego Rivera to boast about when he talks to the press. John Cleese is an impressive writer, and he’s equally impressive as Q in the James Bond series. Jeremy Irons is as Oscar winner for his role in Reversal of Fortune (1990). Aishwarya Rai is a prominent actress in Bollywood and is the daughter in law of the great Amitabh Bachchan.

Steve Martin? Well, he’s the Father of the Bride, and err, Insp. Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther. And he’s back in this unnecessary sequel to the 2006 movie. Together with the abovementioned talented cast members who are gravely under utilized.

Martin’s legendary French inspector who saved the priceless Pink Panther diamond three years ago has another important mission in this movie: To save the priceless Pink Panther diamond – again. Together with an international “dream team”, they will not only save the diamond, they will need to capture the culprit who has been stealing treasures around the world.

We don’t know about the self proclaimed fans of this series, but just how much more of Martin’s fumbling and bumbling can we take? And just how much more of the protagonist’s ineptness can we take? And we haven’t even started on the movie’s juvenile scripting and wordplay which attempts to milk laughs (not so intelligent ones) from those who need a break from their hectic schedules. Sample the below dialogue exchange between Molina’s Pepperidge (one of the dream team members) and an Italian reporter to get an idea of gasp, what the humour of whole movie feels like:

Italian Reporter: Mr. Pepperidge, was the Dream Team asleep when the theft occurred?
Pepperidge: No comment.
Italian Reporter: Do you think they will recover the ring?
Pepperidge: If I give a comment, when I said 'no comment.' I would look like a complete ass, wouldn't I?

Seriously, what were the filmmakers thinking when they made this sequel? Even if Netherlands born director Harald Zwart had made pleasant comedies like Agent Cody Banks (2003) and One Night At McCool’s (2001), he couldn’t save this mess handed over to him by Shawn Levy (Night At The Museum, Cheaper by the Dozen). True, there are some amusing moments where you’d chuckle at the picture’s attempt to make clumsiness look funny. And the simple yet effective opening and end credits (yes, these are the moments where you get to see the animated Pink Panther slinking around cutely, and that familiar tune too!) is pleasant to the eyes. But these aren’t enough to salvage the muddling clutter.

Although there are a few amusing moments, these 92 minutes will make cinephiles a little sad, simply because they know that the cast members of this forgettable picture are capable of so much more.

Movie Rating:

(We chuckled. A little.)

Review by John Li


. Hot Fuzz (2007)

. The Pink Panther (2006)

. Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (2006)

. Shopgirl DVD (2005)

. Baby Mama DVD (2008)

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