The Pink Panther (2006)

"Bad"

The Pink Panther (2006) Review


ABC premiered America's Funniest Home Videos in 1989, and the weekly video-clip competition has gone on to become the network's longest-running comedy series. Amazingly, very little has changed since that debut show. Videos rides one predominant joke all the way to the finish line each week - people get hurt on camera, and audiences howl.

The full-contact humor propagated by the program obviously appeals to the masses. The simple formula has worked on Videos for 17 years now. So why, then, am I still surprised when a preview audience sitting through something as moronic as The Pink Panther bursts out laughing when a cyclist crashes into a car door or a senior citizen takes a blunt object to the skull?

My fondest memory of Blake Edwards' original Pink Panther series was Peter Sellers muttering "I have zee boom" as the fuse on the explosive device he possessed burned to its nub. Without fail, the comedian's deadpan delivery and subsequent explosion would send my father and me into hysterics. I'm glad dad's not around to witness this new Panther, Shawn Levy's clueless update of the beloved crime comedies. It seems the bomb now rests in our hands.

Edwards directed eight Panther movies, most of which were blessed with Sellers' presence and timing. As the series deteriorated over time, stand-ins were recruited to shoulder the slapstick, so audiences endured the comedic stylings of Ted Wass (Curse of the Pink Panther) or Roberto Benigni (Son of the Pink Panther, the franchise's lowest point).

Latest leading man Steve Martin, to his credit, doesn't sink as deep as the pint-sized Pinocchio, though he should have his SAG card revoked for even considering an attempt at filling Sellers' shoes. Martin plays incompetent French detective Jacques Clouseau, called in from the countryside by his superior (Kevin Kline) to serve as the fall guy in the high-profile murder investigation of a despised soccer coach (Jason Statham). Clouseau and his new partner (Jean Reno) have plenty of suspects, from the coach's pop-star girlfriend (Beyoncé Knowles) to the team's shifty athletic trainer, Yuri (Henry Czerny). Too bad bumbling Clouseau couldn't catch a monk in a monastery.

The current Levy-Martin collaboration is one of Hollywood's most foul, spawning the first Cheaper by the Dozen before turning its attention to this equally unnecessary remake. As long as Levy continues to convince the once-respected Martin to sell his soul for the sake of a paycheck, no classic film property is safe.

"Not every death is a tragedy," Clouseau is told by one suspect who fails to mourn the deceased. In addition, not every comedy is funny. Martin deserves half the blame, serving as co-screenwriter for a script that rehashes bad jokes and bogs down in painfully unfunny sequences. There are two 10-minute routines built around Clouseau's inability to say the word "hamburger." One sequence involving an egg, a cyclist, and an exploding food cart is almost too idiotic to mention. The parade of ill-conceived pratfalls parts on occasion to allow a decent joke through. A clever cameo nods to the man that could have become the next James Bond. And in one scene, Martin attempts a good-cop-bad-cop routine by himself, which is funny until he eventually electrocutes his own groin. Are we laughing yet?

One of these is a larger-than-life monument. One is not.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Tom Pollock,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.