Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Pink Panther (2006)

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Pink Panther (2006) – 3 out of 5

Points for the mustache, Martin!
I’m a big fan of Peter Sellers and I love the Pink Panther films.  Every time I watch them, I laugh as hard as I did the first time I saw them.  That being said, it’s for this reason that I didn’t watch the 2006 reboot of the franchise starring Steve Martin as the iconic Inspector Jacques Clouseau.  However, I’m a big Steve Martin fan as well--I mean the guy was one of my biggest influences to become a stand up comedian when I was a kid--so I was conflicted.  Ultimately, I decided to not watch it…however, I recently changed my mind.

Dammit, even the actors find this one boring.

Sticking with the typical storyline of the Sellers movies, the movie is about the bumbling French Inspector Clouseu who is put in charge of finding the stolen pink diamond; The Pink Panther. What follows is a series of hi-jinks (I wish I could use that word more often) and slapstick as Martin as Clouseau, along with his partner Ponton (Jean Reno) are out to find the diamond and who killed it’s owner (Jason Statham in a non-suit wearing, car driving generic action film role).  Much to the delight of his superior; Charles Dreyfus (Kevin Kline), Clouseau becomes a patsy to make a mockery of in order for Dreyfus to come in and save the day and win the credit.

Statham is lost without a shitty one-liner or cocaine-addict style action sequence
to be in.

Watching this one, I felt my loyalties pulled in opposite directions on what final score to give the film. I love the original Panther films and I am a Martin fan.  However, the movie is kinda weak in its execution of slapstick comedy and utilizes a lot of bottom-of-the-barrel gags like fart jokes.  However, for every bad gag, there’s a joke and spectacle that is worthy of the Blake Edwards originals.  So, as I watched the film, I found myself groaning or looking at my TV filled with either contempt or a complete lack of emotion or laughing at something great.  Add to the fact that Martin took a big bite off of something massive as he attempted to fill the shoes of Sellers as Inspector Clouseau.

Jean Reno looks confused as to the reason he's in this movie...the answer:
a check.

To try and judge Martin’s performance by comparing it to Sellers is just plain not fair because no one can compete with what Seller brought to the role--even though Sellers HATED the Pink Panther movies.  So, while watching the movie, I tried to look at it like it was a Steve Martin TAKE on Clouseau rather than Martin trying to BE Clouseau.  Keeping that in mind, I was able to see Martin’s comedic brilliance shine through rather than an imitation of Sellers.

And Beyonce is in this one...because it's naturally assumed that a beautiful woman
who can sing obviously can take those talents and use them towards acting.

Hey...Martin stole my hairstyle.  I call it, Not Giving a Fuck
on How My Hair Looks.  Long name, I know.
The Pink Panther isn’t an instant classic like the originals.  There’s no Cato or great fight sequences that made my sides hurt and cry from laughing so hard like in the original.  Instead, to be more PC, the character of Cato is replaced with Jean Reno’s character of Ponton and their fight scenes are no where near as amazing as the apartment destroying ones seen with Sellers and Burt Kwouk.  In all honesty, I fought between a 2 out of 5 and a 3 out of 5 with this film.  While the film isn’t on the same playing level as the Sellers-driven ones, the movie does offer up a few laughs and, in reality, could have been a lot worse. Maybe it’s my deep respect of Steve Martin and the fact he has a special place in my heart for the inspiration he gave me to get on stage and tell jokes but, in the end, The Pink Panther is a mildly entertaining movie that isn’t as bad as it could have been.

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