The Pink Panther 2

Posted February 5, 2009 in Film

Steve Martin doesn’t fail. Like a good comedy soldier, he does what needs to be done—card tricks, banjo-picking, tap-dancing—with no stunt doubles and no ironic winks. Lesser comedians, say somebody whose name rhymes with Scheddie Schmurphy, long ago hid under CGI gags and succumbed to scripts that made him the (gigantic animated) butt of the joke. Even when Martin plays the fool, he commands respect. So while Pink Panther 2 isn’t a great movie, it’s a Steve Martin movie. A Steve Martin movie aimed at kids, to be precise; adults groan at the creaky plot points, but damned if Martin’s Inspector Clouseau isn’t committed to his dense detectivery, sneering French accent, and prim four-button suit jacket (all of which did have the seat-kicking kid next to me in stitches). Once again, Clouseau, John Cleese’s Chief Inspector Dreyfus, and side-kicks Emily Mortimer and Jean Reno, attempts to recover the Pink Panther diamond along with a tag team of international sleuths played by Alfred Molina, Yuki Matsuzaki, Aishwarya Rai, and Andy Garcia, all of whom have much less patience with the bumbling Clouseau than we do, even if we’re sigh-snorting in our popcorn. (Amy Nicholson)



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