Set up as a prequel to the original 1964 Peter Sellers Pink Panther film. The Peter Sellers series of Pink Panther films are classics and in them he created an iconic (can you call a comedy role iconic?) and much loved character. It is quite brave of Steve Martin (who also co-wrote the screenplay) to take on this role and for director Shawn Levy (Made In America, Cheaper By The Dozen) to bring it to the screen.
Unfortunately for the two they really should have left well enough alone. The role of Inspector Clouseau is big shoes for anyone to fill, but Steve Martin definitely does not even come close. His (and Kevin Kline's) is the worst example of a French accent that I have ever heard in a film. If that was the only problem, then I might have excused it, but it isn't. Martin does not even do the physical or verbal comedy well in the film.
I must point out that this is in large part due to the poor script. The attempts at comedy in the film are weak at best. One of the strongest aspects of the film is the music done by Christopher Beck (Bring It On, American Wedding).
In Paris, at the semi finals of the World Championship of soccer, the victorious coach of the French team, Yves Gluant (Jason Statham – The Transporter 2, Snatch) is murdered by a poisonous Chinese dart and his priceless ring, The Pink Panther, is stolen. The self-involved Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline – De-Lovely, Life As A House), wanting to use the high profile case to raise his own profile, promotes then assigns the most incompetent policeman in all of France, Jacques Clouseau (Steven Martin – All Of Me, Cheaper By The Dozen 2), to the case. He hopes that Inspector Clouseau will bungle the case and then he can step in make the arrest and claim all the glory. Dreyfus even assigns Gendarme Gilbert Ponton (Jean Reno – Hotel Rwanda, Mission Impossible) to be Clouseau's driver so he can report back to Dreyfus on Clouseau's whereabouts.
Aided by his assistant, Nicole (Emily Mortimer – Match Point, Notting Hill), and Ponton, Clouseau begins the investigation. In his own bumbling incompetent way, Clouseau interrogates his prime suspects, including Gluant's girlfriend, pop star Xania (Beyonce Knowles – The Fighting Temptations, Austin Powers in Goldmember), Bizu (William Abadie – Unfaithful), the scorned ex-boyfriend of Xania and star of the French team, Yuri (Henry Czerny – The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Ice Storm), the team trainer, Pierre Fuquette (Paul Korda – This is Spinal Tap), Gluant's business partner, and Vainqueur (Boris McGiver – Taxi, Connie and Carla), Gluant's assistant coach.
Clouseau bumbles his way through the case not coming any closer to solving it and even managing to shame himself due to a misunderstanding (or should I say mispronunciation?) at U.S. customs. It seems as if Dreyfus's plan to swoop in at the last moment and take credit for solving the murder of Gluant is going perfectly; but as is usually the case with Inspector Clouseau you can never count him out.
-Deconstructing the Panther
-Sleuth-Cam #1: "Killer" Press Conference
-Sleuth-Cam #2: Soccer-Set-up
-Sleuth-Cam #3: Curtain Call
-11 Deleted Scenes
– Three Music Videos