There are maybe two or three laugh-out-loud moments and a handful of chuckles to be culled from Steve Martins overlong Pink Panther 2, the latest installment in the lackluster overhaul of Blake Edwards and Peter Sellerss iconic Pink Panther comedy franchise. Thats as good as it gets. After several of the worlds most important cultural artifacts are stolen, Inspector Clouseau (a lifelessly mugging Martin) is drafted to head up a whos-who of the worlds leading detectives to track down the culprit. Until that storied team comes together, the film is a dreary checklist of pratfalls, wan double entendres, and frantic, unfunny set pieces. Jolts of inspiration briefly appear in the forms of a dick-waving Andy Garcia and a verbally jousting Alfred Molina (each playing a detective), and Lily Tomlin as a counselor trying to turn the casually racist and sexist Clouseau into a model of political correctness. The rest of the cast (Emily Mortimer, Jeremy Irons, a disarmingly beautiful Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) is fine, but its Garcia, Molina, and Tomlin who give you momentary hope that the film might settle into a witty, irreverent romp. Unfortunately, their efforts are ultimately defeated by Harald Zwarts inert direction of a flat script. And youll have no problem figuring out the villain long before the film ends.
Harald ZwartSteve Martin, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Andy Garcia, Yuki Matsuzaki, Alfred Molina, Aishwarya Rai, John Cleese, Andria Blackman, Zofia BoruckaBlake Edwards, Scott NeustadterShawn LevySony Pictures