Joseph P. Menta, Jr. | Philadelphia, PA USA | 02/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Better sight gags, more inspired comic sequences, and an actually clever mystery plot make "The Pink Panther 2" a more confident and more enjoyable film than its predecessor, which itself was perfectly watchable.
Yes, I guess it's pretty clear that I'm one of those in the minority who don't think it's sacrilege that Steve Martin is trying to follow in the footsteps of the great Peter Sellers. Two things should be remembered on this score: Peter Sellers was extremely talented, no doubt, but his Inspector Clouseau was, well... a bumbling detective character. In other words, it's not the kind of subtle, nuanced character that another talented comic actor can't legitimately take a crack at. Secondly, people forget that critics weren't head over heels in love with the original Sellers Clouseau movies, either, especially his last two or three. Moviegoers tended to like them, but critics mostly dismissed them in favor of Seller's more serious comic works, like "Dr. Strangelove", "Being There", etc. So let's all get a grip now.
Myself, I enjoy Martin's take on the character. Seller's Clouseau was a complete boob who only solved crimes and attained fame completely accidentally, which was admittedly interesting. Martin's take is also interesting, though: his Clouseau is a complete boob at most things, but also has some legitimate detective skills. Those two divergent aspects of the same character makes Martin's Clouseau fun to watch.
So, is the film a comic masterpiece? Nah. But "The Pink Panther 2" is a lot of fun, and definitely worth a trip to the theater."
Finally a thoroughly watchable Pink Panther film
Bluemeenie | FL,USA | 05/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up on the ol Blake Edwards's films- and was anxious to see what Steve Martin and Kevin Kline could do with the character's franchise in 2006. Pink Panther 2006 shows a very 'PC' Pink Panther- no more "little yellow friend"-giving a few spaced out chuckles- but overall giving us a very shallow harmless comedy mostly made up of juvenile innuendos. (without the required irreverence) Pink Panther 06' panders too much to tired slapstick and or fart and crotch hitting humor. They gave it a good try, but like the 7 Blake Edward films-flawed dated comedy mixed with elements of too juvenile and or too adult humor presented in an unbelievable fashion- At least the Edwards films, although hard to watch repeatedly, give you genuine (un-even) moments of hilarity. I too feel Sellers was a genius- although very bloated- and not half as funny as he thought he was. He would have been better suited with a director not infatauted with his comedy.
So with the under box office performing and announced "last" film-Pink Panther 2, how does this series go out...? Magnificently! First thing they did 100% right- replaced Kline with comedy peer of Martin-John Cleese for Dreyfus- Also adding Molina, Tomlain, and others (Jeremy Irons)- Another thing that always benefits any Steve Martin is giving him a big writing chair. A gamble that paid off- was also letting newcomer Harald Zwart helm the directing. Replacing the surprising failure that Shawn Levy turned in with Pink Panther 1. Zwart seems to understand timing better than Edwards and Sellers. (if that is possible) But Pink Panther 2 easily trumps the admirable efforts of the Italian (Roberto Benigni) 93's 'Son of The Pink Panther' and 06's Steve Martin's first try in 'Pink Panther'...Now-they finally get it right!! They even bring back "my little yellow friend"... Giving us actual creative, irreverent and genuinely funny physical setups and payoffs=classic comedy. Along with good film pacing and surprisingly funny dialogue- they all finally make the classic character's their own- and give them an excellent homage all the same time. As far as the trend of films containing 'qualified new talent trying to step into the shoes of classic old talent to revitalize franchises- Carell's 'Get Smart' 07 (replacing Don Adams) was easily the victor over Benigni's and Martin's tries with the Pink Panther franchise...But now with 08's Pink Panther 2 we finally have a evenly funny and watchable Pink Panther movie!!! In my opinion- This will rank up with Steve Martin's finest. (The Jerk, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, SNL, ect..) At 59 Steve Martin is still in 'his prime'....
The only unavoidable 'sad quality' of the film- is being painfully reminded of the age of an equal comedy legend actor/writer (no longer in his prime) John Cleese. So through no fault of his own the only true Dreyfus character remains Herbert Lom- with an honorable mention second to Cleese. Just because even a cameo from the legend that is rightfully Cleese- trumps any comedian today. Although perhaps when Martin is rounding 70, like Cleese is, we'll probably be giving him mulligan's and applause for his history any tidbit of effort.
This will be the only Pink Panther film I own and watch often."
Pink Panther 2: Great for Kids, Good for Adults
Robert D. Shull | Fairfield, OH | 03/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Pink Panther 2 will have you laughing for 92-minutes, and who doesn't need some laughter in their life?
Steve Martin reprises his role as Inspector Clouseau, the ne'er-do-well Inspector of the French police. As in the first film, the antics of Inspector Clouseau provide the comedic relief and carry the film from start to finish.
The cast did a respectable job bringing the story to life and the casting was perfect for the many characters of the "International dream team" in pursuit of the thief "The Tornado."
The slapstick comedy is what really worked in this film. What didn't work as well was the theme of political correctness seen throughout. After a while it became obvious and less funny.
This is a film that will probably appeal more to children than adult audiences. Nevertheless, if you want to get lost in a film, The Pink Panther 2 might just do the trick."
Despite the Lame Title. Martin's Panther is still on the Rig
SylvesterFox007 | USA | 02/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Pink Panther 2" may lack the intelligence and sophistication of the original Blake Edwards/Peter Sellers comedies, and even the zest and heart of The Pink Panther (Special Edition). But like the Pink Panther diamond itself, "The Pink Panther 2" is still a gem, in spite of its flaws.
One flaw is the title. I was disappointed when the previous film's working title was shortened from "The Birth of the Pink Panther," and before the curtain went down on that one I had a sneaking suspicion they'd name the sequel "Pink Panther 2." It's okay that they ignore the fact that this is the eleventh movie, not the second, because this is one of those Hollywood "reboots." But it's just lazy, especially when there are plenty of "The BLANK of the Pink Panther" and "The Pink Panther does BLANK" titles left to choose from. That said, the movie is nowhere near as lame as its title.
When the movie opens, Inspector Clouseau has been put on parking ticket duty by his jealous superior Chief Inspector Dreyfus (John Cleese) right after winning the Medal of Honor. Cleese, like Herbert Lom (the original Dreyfus) and unlike Kevin Kline in the previous film, uses his natural British accent rather than attempting a French one. Unfortunately Cleese, unlike Herbert Lom but like Kevin Kline before him, doesn't attempt an eye twitch, either. When priceless artifacts are stolen by a cat burglar known as "The Tornado" (like "The Phantom" in The Pink Panther, but without David Niven's panache), a "dream team" is assembled out of detectives representing the countries in which the crimes took place. And when the Pink Panther diamond (last seen as a rock on Beyonce's finger, now a honking gem on public display in a Paris museum) is stolen, Clouseau joins oily Italian playboy sleuth Andy Garcia (Ocean's Trilogy (Ocean's Eleven / Ocean's Twelve / Ocean's Thirteen)), London master of deduction Alfred Molina (Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2.1), Japanese computer expert Yuki Matsuzaki, and the author who is writing the book on the Tornado (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) in interrogating prime suspect Jeremy Irons.
Garcia, Molina, Rai, Matsuzaki and Irons are all magnificient actors, but none of them are comedians per se. Garcia and Molina both get their share of zingers, and Aishwarya Rai looks lovely, but a Pink Panther movie needs actors who can blend into the background, not steal the spotlight from Clouseau. Steve Martin continues to fill the role of Clouseau fantastically. In my opinion, he is the only actor other than Sellers to truly make the character his own. He fares better with a director other than Harold Zwart, though. In this film, he lacks the pathos established in the last film. He's less child-like and more childish.
Also, director Harold Zwart and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber seem to be trying too hard to capture the sharp-edged, adult humor of the old Blake Edwards comedies. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it's at odds with the kid-friendly, broad slapstick also presented. The character of Cato is still missing, but they've found ways to incorporate all of the elements of the character without him. The all-out karate ambush sequence is successfully revived in a surprising way I won't spoil here. And Yuki Matsuzaki's character becomes the butt of Clouseau's old "little yellow friend" line, leading to a scene in which Lilly Tomlin, playing a political correctness instructor, tells Clouseau why he can't get away with saying this. Unfortunately, the political correctness coaching scenes go too far. Yes, it's good to see Martin reunited with his old co-star Lilly Tomlin. Yes, in today's age Clouseau would be considered a racist, sexist, small-minded twit. But how long do we have to dwell on that fact?
But while the jokes all work on different levels, the important thing is that they do work. While I preferred the tone and pace of the previous film, "The Pink Panther 2" does deliver big belly laughs. John Cleese doesn't have the same chemistry with Steve Martin that Kevin Kline did, but he's a much better choice for the role. He does that stiff upper-lipped deadpan British humor thing he's so good at, and it suits the role incredibly well. His few brief moments on screen are some of the movie's most hilarious. Cleese, Martin, Garcia, and Molina all have some razor-sharp one-liners, too, most of which are saved for the incredibly funny climax.
As in all of the Pink Panther films, the opening credit animation is a highlight. It's funny, stylish, and sophisticated: everything you'd expect from a Pink Panther cartoon. For fans, the credits alone will be worth the price of admission. Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, and Steve Martin continue to have great chemistry together. Phillip Goodwin returns in the almost unnoticeable role of Dreyfus' confidant. In the same way the worst James Bond movies provides more thrills than most other action flicks, a weak Pink Panther movie still provides more belly laughs than most other comedies. And there are plenty of laughs to be had in "The Pink Panther 2." "
A funny movie- Pink Panther 2
K. Cooper | Phila. area | 02/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Steve Martin is back for a second shot as Inspector Clousseau in this sequel. The movie is about a series of high profile international robberies and the "Dream Team" of sleuths investigating the crimes, including Clousseau. Some people might get bogged down in "Is Martin as Good as Peter Sellers, are the new films the equals of the 60s and 70s classics", etc. A better question would be is this a good film and a funny film in its own right and on its own merits? Taken on it's own merits, this is a funny movie with good slapstick and verbal humor. Like the Sellers films, the entire cast is very good with Cleese, Garcia, Mortimer and Reno all shining. It may not be as funny or as original as the best Sellers movies but it does what a comedy is supposed to do- make you laugh. That doesn't go out of style."