The Pink Panther 2

| June 26, 2009

Steve Martin returns as the lovably bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau who always gets his man- after lots of slapstick hijinks, of course. The precious Pink Panther diamond is again in peril as a mysterious thief known as The Tornado sweeps across the globe purloining priceless artifacts. With the public clamoring for their return, an international dream team of detectives is assembled with Clouseau in charge. His obliviousness and unorthodox methods are a humiliating liability to the team but ultimately it is he who cracks the case, nabs the thief and gets his girl.
Martin is joined by a cast of familiar actors who all seem to revel in participating in the film’s tongue in cheek hilarity. His love interest, Nicole (Emily Mortimer) is a delightfully dithering sweetheart whose obliviousness is almost equal to Clouseau’s. Mortimer plays the clueless girl as an appealing character whose French accent out-phonies Martin’s, which is a real feat. Alfred Molina, Andy Garcia and Yuki Matsuzaki as the other members of the artifact recovery dream team dig into their roles as straight men with real amusement and Jean Reno gives a kindhearted turn as Clouseau’s loyal friend and fellow policeman. Aishwarya Rai, a familiar face in Bollywood, sizzles as a beautiful addition to the dream team and a rival for Clouseau’s affections.
There are some bits tacked on without adding much to the plot- Lily Tomlin, as a character charged with correcting Clouseau’s abominably un-politically correct viewpoints, seems to be just as frustrated with her tiny, superfluous straight man role as her character is with Clouseau’s naïvely offensive statements. Overall, though, the movie delights as an amusing slapstick vehicle for the eminently capable Martin and his fellow actors with the identity of the thief providing an interesting twist at the end.

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