The Pink Panther 2 is a prime example of how the sum of great parts does not add up to greatness. Steve Martin reprises his role as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau in this hideous sequel to a boring remake. This time around he’s joined by an exceptional cast – Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Andy Garcia, Alfred Molina, John Cleese, Jeremy Irons and Lilly Tomlin. The plot, and I use that term loosely, involves a super thief – The Tornado – stealing the world’s most valuable treasures. Interpol assembles the world’s greatest detectives to track down ‘The Tornado’. These detectives will of course be led by France’s Inspector Clouseau, renowned for his investigative mastery.
It’s astonishing that a film with such great comedic actors could be this unfunny. Blame the script. Hashed out by Steve Martin, Michael Weber, and Scott Neustadter; the script is painfully weak. Its obvious goal is to set up the hapless Inspector in comedic situations where the site gags would take over and provide the laughs. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Steve Martin is one of the best comedic actors, but he does not have the physical talents of the original Clouseau, Peter Sellers. Sellers was Chaplin-esque in his physical comedy abilities. His antics were legendary. And it’s hard to duplicate perfection, even with the talents of Steve Martin.
I can honestly say that I didn’t laugh one time in this entire film. I couldn’t even muster a minor chuckle for sympathy sake. The film is woeful and has not one recommendable trait. It’s a shame to see such a fine cast wasted on such a poor effort. Normally the blame would be heaped on the director, Harald Zwart, but I have a feeling he was there as a pure technician to the process. We’ll definitely see better from Steve Martin, let’s just hope it is not as Inspector Clousea.