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Review: The Pink Panther 2 (2009)

The Pink Panther 2 (2009)

Directed by: Harald Zwart

Premise: A sequel to the 2006 remake. Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) joins an international team of detectives when a mysterious thief known as The Tornado steals priceless artifacts from around the world.

What Works: The Pink Panther 2 is a significant improvement over the first film in its pacing and its character work. Where Steve Martin’s Clouseau shtick was extremely annoying in the former installment, Martin has dialed it back a bit for this film and delivers a much more watchable performance. Clouseau’s romance with his assistant, played by Emily Mortimer, has some nice moments to it. Mortimer gets some of the best acting bits in the entire piece, and despite being weakly written, she is able to do something fun with the role.

What Doesn’t: The rest of the cast is not as lucky as Mortimer. Pink Panther 2 features a distinguished set of actors including Andy Garcia, Jean Reno, Alfred Molina, Jeremy Irons, John Cleese, Lily Tomlin, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan but none of them are given anything to do except stand around and watch Steve Martin make an ass of himself. Although this film and Martin’s performance dial down the annoyance factor of the previous installment, the film still isn’t funny. The gags of Pink Panther 2 are few and far between and none of them are staged or executed very well. Overall the film plays flat; there is no comedic momentum wherein laughs stack upon one another. A film like Pink Panther is not intended to be an exercise in great storytelling but without the gags to fill the space, viewers are forced to look for engagement in a detective story that is not present in this film.

Bottom Line: Pink Panther 2 is a bad sequel to a bad remake. It is disappointing to see these talented actors trapped in a film like this, especially Steve Martin who is so much better than the material he is working with.

Episode: #229 (March 1, 2009)