PINK PANTHER 2, THE
When legendary treasures from around the world are stolen, including the priceless Pink Panther Diamond, Chief Inspector Dreyfus (John Cleese) is forced to assign Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin) to a 'dream team' of international detectives (Andy Garcia, Alfred Molina, Yuki Matsuzaki, Aishwarya Rai) charged with catching the thief and retrieving the stolen artifacts. He is joined by his partner Ponton (Jean Reno) and by his long time office assistant, Nicole (Emily Mortimer), the object of his awkward affections.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The most important thing I have to say about PP2 is that nothing in this sequel of the remake makes us groan with embarrassment, as several scenes in the first one did. Driven by the same basic 'French Maxwell Smart' concept as the first, with Steve Martin as the uncoordinated Inspector Closeau, PP2 has better ideas and a better story. And some additional fine actors working in key support roles, like Jeremy Irons, Johnny Halliday and Andy Garcia, who plays an ace Italian detective, clashing his ego with Closeau's.
Emily Mortimer is the sweet thing and Aishwarya Rai is the gorgeous mystery woman, while Halliday and Irons plays crucial cameos - both in fine form. John Cleese is wonderfully manic, Alfred Molina is solidly entertaining ... but the key is Steve Martin's caricature. If you like him in this, the film is great fun. If you don't, it's a patchy work.
The pratfalls are (more or less) well disguised stunts, and some of these work quite well, notably a sequence at the fabulous mansion inhabited by Jeremy Irons' character, who is being questioned by the dream team, while Closeau does a bit of creative sneaking around the estate, falling into several accidents, which are caught on the multi camera security system for all to see.
The bubbly sense of fun is there, but something magical that was captured in Blake Edwards' original 1963 Pink Panther with Peter Sellers, David Niven, Herbert Lom and Capucine, is missing. There are moments of tribute to the original (a spinning globe gag, for example) but movies don't work as simply as a recipe to repeat.
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PINK PANTHER 2, THE (PG)
CAST: Steve Martin, Jean Reno, John Cleese, Andy Garcia, Alfred Molina, Yuki Matsuzaki, Emily Mortimer, Aishwarya Rai, Jeremy Irons, Johnny Halliday
PRODUCER: Robert Simonds
DIRECTOR: Harald Zwart
SCRIPT: Steve Martin, Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Denis Crossan
EDITOR: Julia Wong
MUSIC: Christophe Beck
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Rusty Smith
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 2, 2009