out of Five
Running time: 93
Not quite as bad as you might think – purists will be horrified and should steer clear, but younger audiences will probably enjoy it.
What’s it all about?
When a world famous soccer coach (Jason Statham) is murdered and the Pink Panther diamond ring disappears, Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) puts clueless Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) on the case, hoping to divert press attention while he solves the case himself.
With the aid of his stoic assistant Ponton (Jean Reno) and his devoted secretary Nicole (Emily Mortimer), Clouseau follows a trail of clues and tracks down the most likely suspects, including spurned footballer Bizu (William Abadie), casino owner Laroque (Roger Rees) and gorgeous popstar Xania (Beyoncé Knowles).
The film has an extremely high gag rate – it’s just a shame that so few of them actually work. Fans of the original movies can console themselves with the fact that the film-makers have at least kept both Henry Mancini’s iconic theme tune and the animated opening credits sequence - the funniest thing in the film.
Martin’s performance is infuriating – his comedy accent isn’t that funny, he mangles several of the supposedly funny lines and his face is weirdly screwed up for most of the film. And yet, by the end of the film, he somehow grows on you. Similarly, Beyonce’s acting talent seems to have deserted her since Goldmember, although she looks so fabulous that it would be churlish to complain too much.
If you have any affection for the original films then you’ll want to avoid this like the plague, but less discerning younger audiences will probably enjoy it.
The Pink Panther (PG)