The Pink Panther

Rated NR

Steve Martin gives it a spirited go as Inspector Clouseau in the latest incarnation of The Pink Panther, an attempt to revitalize a franchise that began in 1963 with Peter Sellers in his most famous role, and with Blake Edwards at the helm. Now we get Martin and his Cheaper by the Dozen director Shawn Levy, and the results are mixed at best. Martin surely fares better than the likes of Roberto Benigni, Alan Arkin and Ted Wass, who all headlined the franchise as Clouseau, or Clouseau’s second cousin, or whatever. Yet the film around Martin is stiff and uninventive, leaving the gifted comedian adrift in flat directing and a lame script. It’s not a good movie, but it is an improvement over other post-Sellers Panther films, which were the equivalent of pissing on the great one’s grave. Martin deserves another chance with a better script and a director worthy of the franchise.

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