The Pink Panther 2

Updated: 6 Feb 2009
The Pink Panther 2

By Ben Kenigsberg

Director: Harald Zwart

Time Out rating: 2/6

The Pink Panther 2Considering that it’s the follow-up to a remake of a movie whose franchise released a full three sequels after its star had died, Pink Panther 2 is relatively light on its feet—which is to say, it hardly approaches the mind-blowing idiocy of Trail of the Pink Panther or Curse of the Pink Panther, and it even marginally improves on Martin’s cash-in from 2006. Someone has put thought into the symmetry of the plot; gags involving a wobbly wine rack and surveillance cameras qualify as reasonably amusing; a few transitions are worthy of the Zucker brothers; and the supporting players—Tomlin as a sensitivity trainer, Cleese risking concussion as Inspector Dreyfus—deserve back-pats for good sportsmanship.

None of this is to imply that the movie is inspired, but for a series that’s left so much Clouseau-like wreckage in its wake, disposability may be worth settling for. To the extent that Pink Panther movies have ever worked, it’s been through a peculiar alchemy of Peter Sellers’s lack of self-consciousness and Blake Edwards’s mise en scène. The Pink Panther 2, by contrast, features Martin straining his facial muscles and looks as if it was shot on parchment. But it wasn’t shot in the dark, and that counts for something.

Source: Time Out Chicago Issue 206: February 5–11, 2009