Plot: What’s it about?
A famous soccer coach has been murdered and his prized Pink Panther stolen, but the item taken wasn’t a ferocious feline. No, the Pink Panther stolen is the incredible Pink Panther Diamond, a very valuable one of a kind jewel that is well known. This kind of high profile case would seem to demand the very best investigation, with the very best the police have to offer. Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) intends to be the hero that cracks the case, but first, he wants to show that not just anyone could do so. In order to do that, he plots to assign the most inept inspector he can find. After this lame duck is unable to close the case, Dreyfus will step in and handle matters himself, looking like a hero in the process. He thinks the perfect choice to helm the case is Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin), an odd and often bumbling type of fellow. Clouseau seems to be a lock to fail and in grand fashion, so Dreyfus prepares to sit back and wait for his moment of glory to arrive. So Clouseau and his ever present assistant Gilbert Ponton (Jean Reno) begin work on the case. He seems to be a sure fire failure, but is Clouseau so inept, he might stumble into the case’s solution?
This is another in the long line of unwanted, unneeded sequels. As if anyone could replace Peter Sellers as Clouseau. Steve Martin is a good worker, but his best work seems to behind him and in this role, no one could fill the shoes of the original. I had no idea there was demand for this installment, but the movie did break even, or at least came close. In addition to Martin, we have Kevin Kline miscast as Dreyfus, while pop star Beyonce, Emily Mortimer, and Jean Reno do their best to make the material work. I found most of the jokes and pratfalls in The Pink Panther to be second rate retreads. I’ve seen this all before and in better movies, so don’t expect originality to be a quality seen here. I know some folks don’t mind the same old stuff over and over, but even as a retread, the film comes up short in most instances. Martin tries and tries to make his role work, but it is not there and all I could think about what how much better Sellers would have been. It is impossible not to remember Sellers as you watch and that really drives a nail in this film’s coffin. If you’re a pushover, then you’ll have some laughs here, but not many. If you look for more original or even well crafted humor, then The Pink Panther will not be a title you’ll want to check out. I hate to put any movie into the ground this coldly, but The Pink Panther doesn’t deserve any better, so I simply can’t recommend this release.
Video: How does it look?
The Pink Panther is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. As has become typical for Sony on new releases, the image here looks terrific and shows minimal flaws, so fans should be most pleased. I did see some slight edge enhancement, but aside from that, this is one clean, sharp looking visual presentation. The print used is as clean as we’d expect from such a recent film, while colors look vivid and really stand out, but no signs of error can be seen, which is good news with hues this rich. I saw no troubles with flesh tones either, as they look natural and as for contrast, black levels appear refined and well balanced here.
Audio: How does it sound?
The usual comedy mix is found here, but that proves to be enough, thanks to a more than acceptable Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I wouldn’t recommend this disc as a reference track, but the material sounds good and while surround use is not that impressive, the material never really needs it to be, so it all works out. The musical soundtrack adds some depth and enhances the presence, but outside of that, this is a conservative audio presentation. But the dialogue is crystal clear and no problems surface, so I see no need to complain. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as English and French subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Do you think like to hear people act as if this piece of trash they’ve created is a true masterpiece? If so, then you will love Shawn Levy’s director’s comments, as he seems to think The Pink Panther is a comedy classic that will go down in the history books. This has to be heard to be believed, this dude is quite delusional. This disc also includes a handful of featurettes, a selection of deleted & extended scenes, an alternate version of the opening sequence, and some Beyonce musical materials.