Thursday, May 24, 2012
THE PINK PANTHER 2
"Here is the Pope's ring! His wife will be happy."
Steve Martin returns as Inspector Clouseau in this sequel to The Pink Panther (2006). A thief known as the Tornado is stealing national treasures, including the famous Pink Panther diamond [ignoring the first film, the diamond is now the national symbol of France and has no owner]. A crack team of international detectives, including Clouseau, are assembled to uncover the identity of the Tornado and stop the thefts. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan [!] is fun and sexy as the one woman in the group, Sonia, and Emily Mortimer is back as Nicole, who is carrying a torch for Clouseau. Others in the cast include the always-wonderful Alfred Molina, John Cleese [somewhat disappointing as Dreyfus], Jeremy Irons as a suspect, and even Lily Tomlin as a woman who tries to teach Clouseau political correctness but finds it a losing battle. Jean Reno underplays nicely as Clouseau's partner, Ponton, carried over from the first film along with Nicole. There are some funny scenes in this -- Clouseau interviewing the Pope at the Vatican is especially memorable -- and the film is essentially amiable with a fine Martin seemingly enjoying himself. You probably will, too, even if there have been better "Pink Panther" movies.
Verdict: Not a terrible time-passer. **1/2.