The Pink Panther

Bomb Rating: 

It's the kind of movie where I had to remind myself that it was my job to go see this, to torture myself, and that perhaps in the process, I might save some lives.

Quite honestly, the remake of "The Pink Panther" is the kind of movie that makes most self-respecting film critics want to tear their eyeballs out with their fingernails and rue the day they ever decided to become film critics. It's the kind of movie where I had to remind myself that it was my job to go see this, to torture myself, and that perhaps in the process, I might save some lives.Ultimately, it came down to a choice between seeing this movie and poking at my hemorrhoids with a fork and I begrudgingly chose the former.

While Steve Martin appears to get really into his role as Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the French police, virtually every actor around him has the countenance of a pet owner watching a new puppy get run over by a car. Kevin Kline, Emily Mortimer and Jean Reno all stand around, watching Martin try -- without success -- to do justice to the role made famous by Peter Sellers. Kline's accent wavers inexplicably between English and French, as does Mortimer's, while Reno looks as though he's bored out of his skull and would kill himself if he could.

Among the film's many head-scratching choices is the casting of Jason Statham of the "Transporter" films in a non-speaking role in which he dies within the first three minutes. I wonder if this was a scripted thing or if Statham just couldn't take it. Statham plays a soccer coach who is killed on the field while wearing the famous Pink Panther diamond. Now, perhaps a sensible person will ask why a soccer coach would be wearing a huge diamond during a soccer match, but that person would simply not be likely to see this movie.

Suspicion falls on the coach's girlfriend, Xania (Beyonce Knowles), who is not only gorgeous, but a famous singer too (go figure). Naturally, this allows for that moment when Beyonce will sing a song and the audience will wonder why she couldn't just go make the music video and save us the three minutes. Clouseau gets on the case because Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kline) wants to win some medal and solve the case himself. He figures Clouseau will bungle the whole thing. He doesn't (go figure).

"The Pink Panther" is the ultimate test of film critic endurance. They should have handed out free samples of Pepto-Bismol at the door.

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