The Pink Panther 2 (2009) Review

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Surprisingly, one of the better ones.

The Pink Panther 2 (2009): 6 out of 10: Steve Martin reprises his take on that classic Peter Sellers role as Inspector Clouseau. To the surprise of no one in the viewing audience, the Pink Panther diamond is stolen along with other artifacts from around the world (Shroud of Turin, Piscatory Ring, Kusanagi no Tsurugi) A master thief named The Tornado claims responsibility and a Dream Team of Detectives are sent in to solve the case.

Andy Garcia, Emily Mortimer, Alfred Molina and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan make up about half of the star-studded dream team.

The Good

The Good: The Pink Panther 2 sports an all-star cast, and it certainly has some stand-outs that carry more than their weight. Jean Reno, in particular, is excellent as Clouseau’s French partner. He is the perfect foil for Steve Martin’s character, even though he does seem to possess a haircut that is more appropriate for an eight-year-old on school picture day. A shirtless Jeremy Irons hams it up as the suspected villain Tornado. He is only in the film for a few minutes, but he makes them count.

I would watch a film just about these two. They are having so much fun.

Pink Panther 2 also skips the part in every Pink Panther film where we see the thief steal the Pink Panther diamond. Good for them, I say. That was always ten minutes or so that while interesting didn’t fit with the rest of the film. It is actually kind of refreshing not to have to sit through it again.

We do get a flashback sequence in cold blue vision.

The Pink Panther 2 is beautifully shot with gorgeous location shots throughout Paris. Almost worth a viewing for the travelogue.

While slapstick is not for everyone, there are some genuine laughs in this film. Steve Martin puts his own spin on the Inspector Clouseau character, which is refreshing. Martin’s Clouseau has more agency and is more physically coordinated than the traditional reading but often still as dim. Steve Martin mind you is no Peter Sellers in the role, but at least he is no Ted Wass either.

I am sure that is Steve doing his own stunts.

The Bad

The Bad: There are some genuine laughs. Some. Not a lot. There are stretches of this movie where a gag is not working, and yet it seems to go on forever. In all fairness, this is a bit of a Pink Panther tradition as well.

The Ugly

The Ugly. John Cleese plays the old Herbert Lom role of Clouseau’s boss Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus and “As Time Goes By” alumni Geoffrey Palmer plays his boss Joubert. You could not find two more British people to play the French roles, and neither even take a stab at an accent. I almost expected to see Michael Caine show up as the French President.

Monsieur Cleese.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: This is a light, breezy comedy with magnificent scenery and lots of fun cameos. Slapstick isn’t my thing, admittedly, but there are some pretty good laughs contained within. I also recently saw 1975’s The Return of the Pink Panther, and this is a better film. It has a much better story and has a broader well of humor to draw from. It is possible that this is the best Pink Panther film since 1964’s A Shot in the Dark. which isn’t as shocking as it sounds if you look at the state of Pink Panther films from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.

I think explosive shenanigans are about to commence.
Look, all the French flags in the world are not going to make Geoffrey Palmer French.
The opening credits are always a highlight of a Pink Panther film, and Pink Panther 2 does not disappoint.
Good Lord John looks like he just saw Charon with his boat ticket.
I admire good special effects, especially in a lightweight comedy. Some nice practical fire effects here.
I am trying to find out what airline these flight attendants work for? So my review can be more informative. Please feel free to put the answer in the comments.
A clue.
Lily Tomlin is fine. Steve and Lily together in a film are like a well-worn slipper.
Well, one thing I am certain of is that the sexy, aggressive woman is not the real bad guy.
Yuki Matsuzaki is my breakout favorite from this movie. He seems to channel L (Death Note) a little bit, which I found delightful.
We should all age as well as Jeremy Irons.
Emily Mortimer is not right for this role. I understand they needed to cast an actress old enough so that Steve Martin and Andy Garcia romantically pursuing her would not come across as super creepy. The problem is, the character is supposed to be bookish and shy and inexperienced in the world of men. They were trying for Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan in The Mummy. They ended up with a Bouvier sister trapped in Grey Gardens.
Hello Asylum… Do I have a movie idea for you.
Steve Martin with nunchucks… Oh no, not the Kato thing again. I would have thought political correctness would do some good for once and kill this tired old trope.
Two Things: I love the Bulldog (Puppy!) and the set designer is taking a piss. How many Eiffel Tower statues are in the “Paris” apartment.
I am sure this is just a misunderstanding.
You know Aishwarya Rai Bachchan would make a good James Bond.

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