Saturday, August 22, 2009

THE PINK PANTHER 2 - Cinema Hate-Crime

Peter Sellers made five great comedies playing the incapable but serendipitous French cop, Inspector Clouseau. Herbert Lom seethed with anger as his boss. Burt Kwouk exemplified physical comedy genius as his side-kick Cato. Those movies are Cinema Gold. That Steve Martin fool-headedly decided to remake the Clouseau movies, churning out the piss-poor 2006 film, was bad enough. That he lacked humility enough to try it again is unforgivable. The resulting cinema dreck troubled the multiplexes only briefly, and rolled onto DVD with a mere USD70million gross. Here's hoping that's the end of this humiliating little experiment.

As to the particulars, the plot sees The Tornado stealing priceless world historical arefacts as well as the eponymous French diamond. An international dream team of cops is brought together to track them down. Clouseau embarasses them all, almost loses his sweet-heart Nicole, but finally foils the thief. The movie is set in a stylised picture-postcard Europe, and peopled with characters in stylised costumes and deliberately hammy accents. One can only assume that the likes of Jeremy Irons, Lily Tomlin, Alfred Molina, Jean Reno and Andy Garcia were doing it for the phat cash alone. The exception is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who presumably also did it to raise her profile in Western cinema, and whose uneven Anglo-Brit accent is presumably not deliberate. The physical comedy is predictable and worst of all, leans heavily on CGI. The direction is competent at best. The plot is utterly predictable. The only surprising thing about the film is that it us written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber who also wrote 500 DAYS OF SUMMER.

THE PINK PANTHER was released in spring 2009 and is available on DVD.

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