The Pink Panther is a redesign/reboot of the Pink Panther franchise that started in 1963 with the movie The Pink Panther(which I have not seen). In this film, we don’t see the iconic animated panther himself, but we do hear the traditional ‘duh done du-don” theme. We do have the clumsy Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin), and he’s investigating the disappearance of the pink panther diamond, as well as the death of national soccer coach Yves Gluant. The setting is France, so we have some intense accent work from Martin, but most of his work in this movie, and in its sequel is over exaggeration on his part. It’s to mimic all of the cartoons that have Clouseau doing everything the klutzy way.
This movie has everything needed in a just for fun watch. Comedy, romance, mystery, betrayal, suspense, action. There’s not much else to want in a film. The Pink Panther balances it all out quite nicely, and doesn’t go overboard on any of it. There are some cringe moments, but most of the klutziness is well played by Martin. There’s not many times where you would think “oh that was staged”. We all know it is staged, but you’re well immersed enough to not notice it. Martin plays a very convincing Clouseau.
The rest of the cast is stellar. Beyonce plays a great person of/love interest. Kevin Kline as the Chief Inspector is amazing, and is really my favorite secondary character. Jean Reno as Clouseau’s assistant Gendarme Gilbert Ponton is also very good. He plays his role of the unknowing cop very well. I would have liked to see him argue with Clouseau more about his, but he’s otherwise a very good part of the movie. Clouseau’s relationship with secretary Nicole Durant (Emily Mortimer) is one for the ages. They match each other perfectly, klutziness for klutziness. Naivety for naivety. I hope they live happily ever after. I do get confused on one matter. Do Xania (Beyonce) and Clouseau start to hook up before he burns down the hotel? I think they do, and that makes me mad for Nicole.
Plot wise, I thought it was a good mystery movie. Very traditional aspects, but the hunt for the murderer, and the diamond were both intriguing. The klutzy Clouseau adds to the element of surprise. So even on rewatch, you’re always wondering what’s going to happen. Though I have always known what happens to diamond, that aspect is one that never surprises me. You see Clouseau transition to a different rank, but he basically stays the same detective inspector throughout the whole movie. Chief Inspector Dreyfus though, there might be some development there (but not much).
Overall. I love The Pink Panther. It’s one I always want to watch, because it makes me feel better about my own klutziness, but it’s also just a good movie. Worth every rewatch! It may not be top tier in any of the genres it hits, but it strikes a great balance, making everything work together well. That is The Pink Panther‘s strongest suit.