I am going to be perfectly honest here. Today’s movie is nothing more than a “Blockbuster is going out of sale and so I grabbed this for cheap thinking it might be half-way entertaining” DVD. Actually, I bought both the remake and this movie at the same time though to be honest, I don’t really know why. More than likely, it was simply a case of me spending money at a place that used to bring me a lot of happiness one last time. Why else would I buy two movies that I had no intention of seeing in theaters. Well, maybe to torture myself. Anyways, let’s get on with today’s movie, The Pink Panther 2.
The plot: A master thief known as The Tornado has stolen famous artifacts from around the world; including the Magna Carta in London, the Shroud of Turin in Italy, and an Imperial Sword from Japan. In France, Chief Inspector Dreyfus is summoned to his superior’s office and told of a international Dream Team of detectives that is being assembled and they want Inspector Clouseau on the team but Dreyfus had assigned Clouseau to being a traffic cop in order to keep him from getting in his political aspirations. Dreyfus summons Clouseau to his office to tell him of the assignment but Clouseau doesn’t want to leave, saying if he were to leave France, the Tornado would immediately steal the Pink Panther but Dreyfus orders him to leave. Clouseau returns to his office to pack for his trip and tells Nicole what is happening and starts to hug her goodbye but Ponton shows up to take Clouseau to the airport and they not to admit their feelings for each other. As they are driving to the airport, Clouseau questions the ten year gap in the Tornado’s crimes, saying it doesn’t make sense. Arriving at the airport, Clouseau says goodbye to Ponton and heads towards the plane but once he passes the gate, a news report airs saying that the Pink Panther has been stolen, prompting Clouseau to say “What did I tell you.” Since Paris is the most recent crime scene, the Dream Team is sent there and Clouseau is introduced to Vicenzo from Italy, Kenji from Japan, and Pepperidge from England. As the detectives start examining the crime scene, Vicenzo asks what they know about the Tornado and Sonia, a recent addition to the team from India, tells them about the Tornado and how he was shot in Paris once, which gave them a DNA profile to use. Returning to the headquarters, Clouseau is repeatedly called into the new HR office over some of his politically incorrect behavior, and also learns that Vicenzo is attracted to Nicole, causing Clouseau to get jealous. Later, Clouseau is at home when Ponton arrives and asks if he, his son’s, and their dog can stay at his place, as he had a argument with his wife and was kicked out. The next day, Kenji tracks the computer to hack into the museum to Alonso Avellaneda, a fence that has worked with the Tornado so the team heads off to Rome to question him. During the flight, Vicenzo continues flirting with Nicole while Sonia appears to be flirting with Clouseau. During the drive Pepperidge and Kenji question Ponton about Clouseau and when Ponton says Clouseau will be the one to solve the case, Pepperidge laughs and says he will run around wearing nothing but a tutu if that happens. Arriving at Avellaneda’s house, they group is invited inside but Clouseau tells Nicole he is going to snoop around. Inside, the group questions Avellaneda, all while trying to keep him from seeing Clouseau as he inadvertently destroys some of his possessions. Avellaneda shows them his shoulder, which does not have the bullet wound, and the others are convinced of his innocence but Clouseau is sure the Tornado is nearby and as they go to leave, Avellaneda is shown to be talking to the Tornado. Ponton shows Clouseau a piece of paper about a dinner reservation at a restaurant’s re-opening, which happened to have been destroyed 3 months ago by Clouseau and Clouseau and Ponton decide to investigate it. Staking out the restaurant, Clouseau is amazed when Ponton tells him he placed a bug at Avellaneda’s table but when they see Nicole and Vicenzo heading inside, Clouseau decides to put the bug on their table to find out what they are saying. Clouseau tries getting inside but the maitre d’ recognizes him and has him thrown out so Clouseau disguises himself as part of a dance act to get inside and switch the bug but as he does so, he accidentally starts a fire, burning the place down again. While this is going on, the Pope’s ring is stolen by the Tornado and Clouseau’s antics have made the Dream Team look bad. The team goes to speak with the Pope and Clouseau, attempting to retrace the Pope’s steps, dons his robes and goes out onto the balcony but ends up falling off it, further disgracing the team. When a third incident occurs, where Clouseau is seen dangling Ponton’s sons off a balcony, the other members of the team vote to kick Clouseau off the team, though Sonia chooses to stick up for him. Clouseau goes to see Nicole but runs into Sonia returning a file in Nicole’s office and after Sonia realizes that Clouseau is in love with Nicole, Sonia says she is depressed because the men she likes don’t like her. Clouseau gives her a sympathetic hug just as Nicole comes in and tells Clouseau that Vicenzo and the others have solved the case. Clouseau goes to see the others, where Vicenzo explains how they tracked down the Tornado and found him dead, having committed suicide. While the other items are found, the Pink Panther is missing and, according to the suicide note, the Tornado supposedly destroyed it. Clouseau doesn’t believe that the dead man was the thief but the others disregard his comments and hold a press conference to announce it, with Kenji getting a DNA report stating that the DNA from 10 years ago match the DNA of the body, proving that the man is the Tornado. Feeling dejected after everything that has happened, including Vicenzo declaring his love for Nicole, Clouseau is spending the evening with Ponton when Ponton says he is going back to his wife and that Clouseau should stop hiding his feelings for Nicole. The next day, a celebration is held for the Dream Team but Clouseau is not invited, having been placed back on traffic duty by Dreyfus. When Nicole brings Clouseau some food, Clouseau works up the nerve to tell her she is pretty but when Nicole says she knows what Clouseau said about her, Clouseau tells her that he told Vicenzo those things to try and keep him from falling in love with her and she leaves confused. As he sits down to eat, Clouseau notices the license plate of Sonia’s rental car and, after consulting his notebook, quickly calls Ponton and heads inside. Clouseau gets Dreyfus’ attention and tells him he solved the case but Dreyfus ignores him and heads back to the others. He tells them Clouseau’s theory, that Sonia is the real thief and the other jokingly try to work out how she committed the crimes. When Nicole asks Sonia to open her purse, she refuses and says she has a plane to catch but Nicole gets in her way and demands she open her purse so Sonia opens it, pulling out a gun which she uses to hold Nicole hostage. Clouseau steps forward and says to shoot him and Sonia does before trying to escape. As Nicole and the others check on Clouseau, they discover that his Medal of Honor deflected the bullet, saving his life but unfortunately killing a waiter. Clouseau chases after her, with the others following but during the chase, they are repeatedly made to look like fools. Clouseau eventually corners Sonia and she pulls out the Pink Panther and threatens to shoot it but when Clouseau tells her to go ahead, she does so and attempts to escape only for Ponton to stop her. When Dreyfus starts yelling at Clouseau but Clouseau explains that he had switched the Pink Panther with a replica so the replica was stolen. When the suicide note mentioned the Pink Panther’s beauty, he knew the Tornado was murdered as the Tornado would have known it was a fake. When the others ask how Clouseau knew Sonia was the thief, he reveals that he gave Sonia a parking ticket the day before the Pink Panther was stolen, which disputed her claim that she arrived after the theft. Vicenzo congratulates Clouseau, then admits that nothing happened between him and Nicole as she is in love with Clouseau and Clouseau asks her to marry him. Later, Dreyfus officiates the wedding of Clouseau and Nicole and afterwards, he accidentally sets off the alarm, causing an armed response team to show up and start detaining the guests as Clouseau and Nicole leave for their honeymoon.
The Pink Panther 2 was pretty much panned by the critics, holding a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Underutilizing its talented cast,The Pink Panther 2 is little more than a series of lame slapstick gags.” The movie was nominated for two Razzies, Worst Actor and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel, but lost to the Jonas Brothers and Land Of The Lost respectively. The movie barely made a profit at the box office, earning $75.9 million off of a $70 million budget.
There are several parts in this movie that made me laugh but in keeping with the spirit of the original Pink Panther, this movie was a joke. The acting was ok, but I felt like Steve Martin was trying too hard and at times, seriously seemed to overshadow the other actors when he didn’t need to. I did like John Cleese playing the role of Dreyfus as I felt that his comedic timing was great when paired with Steve Martin’s. The story was decent but the ending honestly seemed a little weak and somewhat over-simplified to me . There were some very funny parts, and some not so funny parts, and Steve Martin did a good job with his slapstick in this movie but sometimes the comedy felt like it was a little forced and didn’t seem to be warranted. I don’t think it is as bad as the critics say but this is not one of Steve Martin’s best movies.
Rating: 2 out of 5