Now, the new Pink Panther, directed by Shawn Levy, is a pure work of comedy. Sure, it's full of (what some may call) cheap gags and lots of physical humor, but...it's a comedy. I know I'm not one for that kind of humor, when actors like Kevin James are on the screen, but, here with Steve Martin, it is a delight. That's right, I believe Steve Martin's role as Inspector Jacques Clouseau is one of the best in his career. And definitely beats Peter Sellers by a whole lot. Now, I know Steve Martin fans (and Peter Sellers fans) are violently shaking their heads in disagreement. But it's my opinion, and I am standing by it, god damn it. Or God damn it? Damn It? Anyway.
Watching this film is like sucking the sweet vanilla extract that made a treat so delicious. Meaning that this film is the core of most great comedies. Of course, not this movie in particular, but older ones like this. (And no, not the original Pink Panther. Like I said, it's boring.) The humor may be somewhat simple, and at times plain silly, but, in this whole scenario of a movie, it somehow works. The idiocy of Steve Martin's Jacques Clouseau is rather typical... (but that is the epitome of Clouseau, no? yet it is just hilarious. Now, what I do not understand is why critics harshly bashed his performance, as it was much funnier than Peter Sellers's confusing, apparently-subtle humor. Then again, I am most likely the spawn of a new generation... (most likely?) one that doesn't "appreciate 'true' comedy". (Yet I do adore Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder. Interesting.) Whether Peter Sellers was great as the Inspector is not relevant here! Why I keep returning to it is a puzzle.
|Better than Daniel Craig? I think not.|
One factor I did not particularly care for in the movie was Beyonce. Her role as the sexy singer Xania was a bit aggravating to deal with. Plus, she and Steve Martin are an awkward couple, wouldn't you say? Seriously, she's a bit out of his league. (Steve Martin's hot.) I'll sum it up by saying she is not a good actress. Correction: She's not an actress...as in she cannot act.
The most foolish concept of this movie is the sheer idiocy of the Dream Team. This childishly-named team of the world's greatest sleuths (oh, forgot to put air-quotes, as they are probably the worst detectives in the world) assembled in order to capture one thief known as the Tornado. This thief has been stealing priceless artifacts, such as the Magna Carta and, of course, the Pink Panther diamond. This so-called master thief is rather stupid, if you watch this movie with the mind of an intelligent adult, as he/she always leaves behind case-cracking evidence at the crime scene. Dumbass.
There will be no spoilers here, as I move on to the movie's overall quality.
The members of this wondrous Dream Team are Andy Garcia, as an overly-Italian "casanova" Vicenzo Brancaleone; Alfred Molina, as a chip-chip-cherrio British sleuth Randall Pepperidge (guess Sherlock Holmes wasn't available); a Japanese tech-geek, whose participation in the Team is not that impressive (then again, is anyone's?); and Aishwarya Rai as the sultry-sexy Sonia Solandres. They are all depicted as buffoons, plain and simple. Whether that was intended by the director or not, it just did not work out. At all. Jeremy Irons, also, makes an appearance, which sort of baffled me. It was a fine how-do-you-do, that's all.
Overall, I would just like to say that the new Pink Panther is really funny. Don't argue with your screen because, as always, that's what I think of the movie. Both movies were rated rather low on IMDb after all. The first one, in 2006, was flat-out hilarious, even after a seventh viewing of it. True, as I have said before, its humor may appear to be for the simple-minded, while the Blake Edwards classic is inclined to more "intellectual" folk. I guess you can call me part of the unrefined population. (Although you shouldn't, considering I'm far more sophisticated than most adults I know. But I don't care what you think. Yes, on paper, I'm haughtier than I claim to be in reality.) Anyway, The Pink Panther is, indeed, entertaining. The Pink Panther 2, I'm sad to say, was a tremendous disappointment, bearing in mind how anxious I was to see it. All those stars (well, one Oscar-nominated Andy Garcia) turned out to do nothing for the movie. In fact, the Oscar-nominated actor himself was the worst part of the movie! That horrible Italian accent! One would think that if he was in The Godfather Part III would be a bit more capable with an Italian accent. Did you know that Andy Garcia was Cuban? I didn't.
I'd also like to add that Steve Martin's Razzie nomination for the second one was totally unnecessary. His accent might have gotten thicker and less-understandable, and he might have endured much more physical gags, but he was definitely not the worst thing about this film. Actually, he might have been the best part of the film, as his comical portrayal as Inspector Jacques Clouseau was just that: comical. Even with the repetitious and exhausting "damburger" joke.