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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.53%
Worth A Look: 22.37%
Average: 10.53%
Pretty Bad: 26.32%
Total Crap30.26%

7 reviews, 34 user ratings

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Pink Panther, The (2006)
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by U.J. Lessing

"Steve Martin est un type sauvage et fou!"
4 stars

Even before I walked into the theater to screen “The Pink Panther,” I got the sense that I was supposed to hate this film. Thoughts voiced by other critics and dreamt up by me bounced in my head like peas on a frying pan: Nobody can replace Peter Sellers. Here’s yet another lousy Steve Martin family movie. The last three Pink Panther movies were all as funny as a chapped scab. Nothing decent ever is released in February. How refreshing it was to have each of these statements rendered false by this charming comedy.

Steve Martin is Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the most bumbling detective in all of France, brought to Paris to solve the mystery of a murder involving a valuable diamond. Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) has chosen him because he expects Clouseau to fail, and he can then step in and claim the glory.

Steve Martin has wisely sidestepped any negative comparisons to Peter Sellers by completely reinventing the character of Clouseau. Sellers’ Clouseau was brutish and like a train wreck—a fool desperately trying to control the chaos he inadvertently drew into every situation.

Steve Martin’s Clouseau is profoundly different. This Clouseau is pompous, but he is also gentle. As in his early stand-up routines, we can feel superior to Steve Martin’s immature, likable character while adoring him at the same time.

Martin’s childish charms are delightful and distinctive. Clouseau struggles to pronounce the phrase “I would like to buy a hamburger,” with an English accent. He gets into a playground-like taunting of his subordinate (Jean Reno in the only subtle role in the film) who clearly has a stronger police background. He is constantly misinterpreting what other people are telling him. (When asked if he thinks the suspect is a man or a woman, he is incensed. “Of course it is a man or a woman!” he irritably replies.)

For a slapstick film, some of the humor is remarkably clever. For example, the film established Clouseau’s character right away by having him stumble upon an old man sitting in an electric wheelchair in the middle of the road blocking traffic. Clouseau notices the cables to the chair’s battery have come loose. He incorrectly plugs the cables in, and the old man and the chair are propelled backwards into an adjacent window.

One might think this level of humor more suited to a Police Academy movie, except for one detail. When we see the battery that Clouseau is connecting, we immediately notice that it has the clearest color-coding imaginable. One half of the battery is a bright candy red, and the other is a rich shiny blue. It is impossible for anyone to mess up the set-up: anyone but Clouseau.

These clever moments help us to forget some of the obvious immaturity that riddles the film. Some of the gags are just too obvious and fall flat. In the third act, the storyline becomes way too convoluted with plot points. There are simply too many locations, and none of them are very well used. Beyoncé Knowles appears to have been brought into this project to provide some unnecessary sex appeal and a music video that completely disrupts the movie.

But none of this detracts from Steve Martin’s performance. There is a moment when Clouseau discovers that his superiors think he is a joke. Martin very gently looks into the camera, and conveys a lovely sense of childlike sorrow. While this has nothing in common with the performance of his predecessor, Peter Sellers, it evokes the silent comedian, Harry Langdon.

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originally posted: 02/10/06 15:08:23
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User Comments

8/03/09 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
3/17/08 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
4/17/07 Indrid Cold Could have been worse. 3 stars
3/06/07 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
9/22/06 Anthony Feor It's a good remake 4 stars
7/01/06 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
6/21/06 Ole Man Bourbon A poorly-made movie with some funny/stupid jokes, but Martin and Reno make it kinda fun. 3 stars
6/07/06 Quigley the movie was hilarious. I laughed so hard; Steve Martin's scenes were classic 5 stars
5/05/06 Marcia Lartz Guess we shouldn't expect anyone to fill Peter Seller's shoes. 3 stars
5/04/06 SylvesterFox007 Not as hilairous as the Peter Sellers films, but still an extremely enjoyable romp. 5 stars
4/22/06 Jack Great comedy ! 4 stars
3/28/06 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
3/23/06 Dk Its a decent lttle film 3 stars
3/21/06 luke excellent, first class comedy 5 stars
3/20/06 Vega Oh why? Fuel piracy with this crap! 1 stars
3/13/06 Rio Calling this movie stupid would be an insult to stupid movies. 1 stars
3/13/06 Hydrogen Although it was kinda funny, it didn't do anything special. 3 stars
3/11/06 Green Gremlin What next...Jim Carrey as Maxwell Smart ?!? 2 stars
3/07/06 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
2/22/06 buttman it was funny 5 stars
2/13/06 KingNeutron DO NOT waste your money - I walked out after 15min, and I'm a FAN of Martin+PP! 1 stars
2/13/06 Madi I loved the movie Steve Martin's act as Clouseau was funny. 5 stars
2/13/06 Ole Man Bourbon Once I got comfortable with Martin's Clouseau, I was able to enjoy it. Hit and miss though 3 stars
2/12/06 Perry Mason Steve Martin's slapstick act is tired. This was just an embarrassment. 1 stars
2/12/06 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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