The Pink Panther Review
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Before I saw The Pink Panther, I’d been warned not to expect too much. So I went into it with the lowest of expectations—and it was probably best that way.

The story of this new-and-not-necessarily-improved remake is loosely based on the 1960s original. After the French soccer team defeats China, the French coach, Yves Gluant, is killed with a poison dart—and his infamous Pink Panther diamond is stolen. The murder comes at a critical time for French Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline), who’s recently been nominated for the Medal of Honor. He’s actually been nominated seven times—and he’s never won—but he’s determined that this is his year. All he has to do is bring in an incompetent investigator to distract the media while Dreyfus recruits his own team of brilliant investigators. Then, once the incompetent investigator fails, Dreyfus will swoop down, solve the case, and finally get his Medal.

So Dreyfus hands the case over to the most incompetent man he can find: Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin). Clouseau jumps right into the case and begins interrogating suspects—the most obvious of which is Xania (Beyoncé Knowles), the pop star with whom Gluant had a famously rocky relationship. Or maybe the killer is the star soccer player who had been dating Xania before Gluant stole her from him. Or Gluant’s business partner, who lost millions because of Gluant’s gambling problem….

It didn’t take long for me to understand why this movie didn’t become the phenomenon that everyone expected. In the beginning, Martin takes the bumbling-idiot act a little too far. The jokes go on a little longer than they should—until they’re just not funny anymore. Fortunately, though, it does get better. After a while, Clouseau’s antics move from painful to funny. And, eventually, Clouseau even becomes just the slightest bit lovable.

The Pink Panther definitely has its moments. Clouseau’s bizarre (and ever-changing) accent makes for plenty of great jokes—the most amusing of which revolves around the word, “hamburger.” And there are a few scenes that, I’ll admit, made me laugh until it hurt. Since I went in with low expectations, I actually enjoyed myself a bit—but The Pink Panther isn’t nearly as entertaining it could have been.

If you happen to be wandering through your friendly neighborhood video store, and all the really good movies are gone, then feel free to pick this one up. It’s good for a couple of laughs—but don’t expect too much more than that.

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