Reviewed by: Evan D. Baltz
|Featuring:||Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Beyoncé Knowles, Kevin Kline, William Abatie|
|Producer:||Joe Medjuck, Tom Pollock, Tracey Trench|
“The Pink Panther diamond is missing… And the world’s greatest detective is solving the case one mistake at a time.”
When I was a kid, I loved watching the Saturday morning cartoon version of “The Pink Panther”. I also liked watching the original series of “The Pink Panther” movies starring Peter Sellers. I wish I could say the same thing for this newest version of the pastel cat. The tagline for the movie is “Get a clue.” Ironic. Seems more like what movie goers will be saying about the movie: Get a clue, get a joke, get a plot, get a something to make it watchable. But hey, not everything was bad… the theme music by Henry Mancini was as good as ever. When you have to grasp at straws for something to say good about a movie, you can pretty much tell it’s something not worth your time or money.
This prequel to the original series stars the usually funny Steve Martin and Kevin Kline. It also adds pop diva Beyonc (apparently pronounced bounce-cee, based on how she moves in this film) Knowles. The film seems like just another vehicle for her to sell more albums. She performs a song during the movie and sings one during the closing credits. And, is it just me, or has Steve Martin kind of lost his comedic edge? Two “Cheaper by the Dozens” and a “Shop Girl” aren’t exactly edgy comedy or Oscar worthy.
Martin begins as a bumbling local gendarme, until a very public murder brings him to Paris under the direction of Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline), who anoints Inspector Jacques Clouseau the lead investigator on the case. Why? Because Clouseau will get nowhere near the truth and will allow Kline’s character to win a medal of honor when he moves in and solves the case behind Clouseau’s back. This plan will backfire, of course, as Clouseau stumbles his way into the solution.
From almost the very beginning of the movie you could tell the jokes were going to be very low brow, slapstick and cheesy, as Martin hams up the fake French accent for intended laughs. I, however, did not laugh once during the entire film. I smiled lightly on a couple of occasions, but was checking my watch most of the rest of the time. I think the intended audience may have been 10 year olds, since the girl of that age seated behind me found most of the slapstick groin kicks quite amusing.
The movie is rated PG, and only contains two minor swear words (“hell” used twice). The Lord’s name is not taken in vain, and there is no nudity or sexuality in the film, so on that level it is quite family-friendly. There are a few mildly crude or suggestive jokes, but again it all played pretty funny for a 10 year old. There really wasn’t a deeper level at all, for say, thinking adults to enjoy. Even the cartoon version of “The Pink Panther” at least had multiple levels of comedy.
If you really want to see a good Pink Panther, rent one of the original Peter Seller’s movies or checkout the cartoon on TV Land. This pink cat was more of a dog that had me feeling blue. Advice for your next theatre experience? Save your greens and don’t think pink.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See: “The Pink Panther 2” (2009) review