|Alan Arkin as Inspector Clouseau|
Commissioner Braithwaite (Patrick Cargill) of Scotland Yard is dismayed to learn that the Prime Minister insists he bring in an outsider, Inspector Clouseau, to track down a gang of thieves who have been quite difficult to apprehend. Another problem is that the members of the gang hit upon the idea of wearing face masks that make them look just like Clouseau. Alan Arkin had the unenviable task of stepping into the very large shoes of Peter Sellers, and while he's a talented actor, and arguably a "sexier" Clouseau, he just can't quite make the role his own. Cargill is another talented actor, but he won't make anyone forget Herbert Lom as Clouseau's favorite foil. Barry Foster of Hitchcock's Frenzy is also in the cast, as are Frank Finlay (The Deadly Bees, Twisted Nerve) as a Superintendent and Beryl Reid, amusing as his wife. Delia Boccardo is the pretty undercover cop who assists Clouseau. Inspector Clouseau isn't terrible, there's a lot of talent on screen, but it's the weakest of the films showcasing the weird French policeman. Steve Martin was somewhat more effective as Clouseau, playing it more farcically. It probably doesn't help that this was directed by Bud Yorkin and not Blake Edwards.
Verdict: Stick with Sellers. **1/2.