Two childhood friends, a New York hairstylist and a would-be musician, get caught up with the mob and are forced to deliver $50,000 to Australia, but things go haywire when the money is lost to a wild kangaroo.
When the coach of the France soccer team is killed by a poisoned dart in the stadium in the end of a game, and his expensive and huge ring with the diamond Pink Panther disappears, the ambitious Chief Insp. Dreyfus assigns the worst police inspector Jacques Clouseau to the case. His intention is to give a diversion to the press, while he uses his best men to chase the killer and thief. He assigns Gendarme Gilbert Ponton to work with Clouseau and inform each step of the investigation. When Clouseau is nominated with honor to the highest prize in France, Dreyfus decides to humiliate Clouseau and take him out of the case. However Clouseau has already solved the mystery. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The MGM logo is slammed open (with Leo the Lion in mid-roar) by the animated Inspector Clouseau, who takes a look around and then walks off. The Pink Panther appears and closes the logo, leaving Leo unconscious. See more »
This movie unfolds slowly & tentatively, but picks up speed as it progresses...or maybe I was just too concerned with Steve Martin's interpretation of Inspector Clouseau, and I finally relaxed about halfway through the film. Well, when you're used to seeing Peter Sellers as Clouseau, it's just difficult to view anyone else in that role. But, true to the character, Steve Martin does make it his own, and actually pulls it off pretty effectively. He has always been good with physical humor, and this film is no exception.
Similarly, its difficult to adjust to seeing Kevin Kline as Inspector Dreyfus. Since this movie is a prequel, I can assume that Clouseau has yet to get completely under his skin. It was typical Kevin Kline ... dry, with a weak french accent. I was mildly disappointed because I really enjoyed his french character & accent in French Kiss several years ago.
The first few gags were very short-sided and fell flat, but once Clouseau starts looking for clues the slapstick works a little better & the film gets more enjoyable. Many of the gags are predictable (as is the plot), but what really makes them work is Martin's reactions (which I really think was the key to Peter Seller's portrayal as well).
This film was very tame, with only subtle innuendoes that most youngsters aren't likely to grasp. The audience appeared to laugh at least as much as I did. If you don't expect too much, this movie will be fun; if you expect too much, you're likely to be disappointed.
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