The Pink Panther 2

2009-03-03 12:36
 

What it's about:


Steve Martin returns as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. This time he attempts to track down a bold thief known as the Tornado, who makes off with many of the world’s cultural treasures, including the Magna Carta, the Shroud of Turin, and, of course, the Pink Panther Diamond. Aiding Clouseau is a team of international investigators, most notably a Brit (Alfred Molina) and an Italian (Andy Garcia), all of whom get to marvel at his constant blundering.

What it's about:

Trading on stereotypes is a dangerous game. Reworking a comedy classic that starred none other than Peter Sellers is an even more dangerous one. But silly as it is, The Pink Panther 2 is mostly a winner.

Everyone in this movie is a stereotype, and Steve Martin is Forrest Gump or Homer Simpson as Detective. Stupid, clumsy, ruled by society's prejudices - and yet he succeeds because of his good judgement and infallible instincts.

So we get to laugh at him making good-natured racial slurs in his attempts to bond with his fellow detectives of different nationalities who are assembled to retrieve the stolen Pink Panther diamond.

As he refers to "My little yellow friend" while inviting him for sushi, and unapologetically leers at his female colleagues, 12-year-olds of all ages will probably laugh for the wrong reasons. But are the rest of us - who can see humour in this comedy's ironic celebration of idiocy - responsible for the stupidity of those who take things like this seriously? Not at all. So the usual idiots will be laughing with Detective Clouseau, and the usual snobs will be laughing at him. Since this is a comedy, that's just a double win.

Most of the humour is wonderfully farcical with everyone faking accents so badly that it becomes entertainment in itself. With Jean Reno faking being English even worse than Steve - who's not even European - faking being French. John Cleese does his usual irked act as Dreyfuss.

And the script is nicely up to date (well, this month anyhow) with references to buying gadgets on eBay and other websites we just can't imagine our lives without anymore. The dialogue sounds like it's been written by a comedian, which gives it some depth. By keeping what was good about the original, but not clinging too closely to it when it comes to the punchlines, Pink Panther 2 succeeds where The Producers recent remake just overbalanced and fell on its dumb ass.

No, Pink Panther 2 is not the comedy of the year (at least I hope not). It's not a classic movie. It's not even very good. So if you may want to wait for the DVD, wait away. But for a Saturday afternoon diversion, it does the job, delivering silliness, insanity, and a few proper laughs. This movie also has me reconvinced, as did Novocaine a few years back, that Steve Martin - however banal the material he's working with - has truly funny bones


The charming but silly Inspector Clouseau is back, blundering his way through another international mystery.

osiris1210 2009/03/22 2:52 PM
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its a great weekend movie for family and friends to enjoy. a few snippets make you crack laughing and forget about work.
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