Movie Review: ‘Panther’ pipes in the laughs

Steve Martin co-wrote and starred as Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the remake of the 1964 comedy, “The Pink Panther.” Martin’s physical comedy and continual mishaps illuminated on screen as Clouseau navigated himself on the job without realizing his mistakes as they occurred.

Soccer balls, dancing, perfecting an accent and soundproof rooms are some examples where Clouseau’s hapless behavior and innuendos will conjure up laughs.

Shaun Levy, whose directorial credits include “Cheaper by the Dozen,” directs the rated PG movie with a running time of one hour and 32 minutes. “The Pink Panther” also stars Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles, Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer.

The movie’s opening credits include an animated sequence featuring the pink panther and a cartoon version of Clouseau with the familiar theme by Henry Mancini.

Reminiscent of the original, which starred Peter Sellers, Inspector Clouseau must solve the murder case of France’s famous soccer coach, Yves Gluant, and find who stole the infamous Pink Panther Diamond. Chief Inspector Dreyfus, played by Kline, in hopes of having the clumsy Clouseau make a mockery of himself, hired Clouseau. Meanwhile, Dreyfus worked on the case himself.

Clouseau is provided a sidekick, Ponton, played by Reno, who is assigned by Dreyfus to keep an eye on him. Clouseau and Mortimer’s character, Nicole, have an attraction that is engaging to watch.

The story’s antics are more interesting and amusing than some of the storyline, which appeared rushed toward the end. At times the in-your-face comedic chain of events overshadowed the storyline.

Martin’s performance was enjoyable and carried the movie with what he does best. His facial expressions and quick timing became a believable part of the impromptu clumsiness of Clouseau. The character appeared to be incompetent but is actually a likeable person who does not realize how his shenanigans create chaos. The other performers including Knowles, Kline and Mortimer were entertaining as well. Mortimer’s amusing character is perfect for Clouseau and is understandable when viewing her actions.

The soundtrack contains a song featured in the movie , “Check On It (Pink Panther)” performed by Knowles. This track, which sounded as if it were one of Knowles’s singles, is sung to create the background for the humorous situations on screen.

“The Pink Panther” is recommended for all ages, despite occasional suggestive humor and verbal insinuations that young children may not understand. No matter what age, Martin’s performance will provide laugh out loud humor presented on the screen.

Jaclyn Gonzales can be reached at

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Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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