Movies: The Pink Panther 2

I thought we needed some humor (after learning that my husband did not get the job he interviewed for), so I rented The Pink Panther 2. We’ve watched, and enjoyed the original Pink Panther movies starring Peter Sellers, as well as the Steve Martin remake in 2006. I’m not much into slapstick, but the movies are reasonably entertaining.

I see that many of the comments at imdb.com deal with the comparison of Sellers’ version of Clouseau with that of Martin. Many people fault Martin’s depiction of the bumbling police inspector simply for not being true to the way Sellers created and played the character. By that standard, the newer movies would have to be considered inferior. But as at least one viewer pointed out, Martin has said that he is not trying to duplicate Sellers’ work.

The fact that people who have not seen Sellers’ movies generally do like these newer ones is an indication that Martin’s Clouseau is in fact good, just different. Of course, one could also argue that people who have not seen Sellers’ superior performance are satisfied with Martin because they are judging him by too low a standard. A great deal of what passes for good entertainment today is seen as mediocre by those with the good fortune to have seen what was produced in preceding generations.

For myself, I won’t even try to make a judgment in that regard. Both are good, both are entertaining, and neither is exactly high art. I do like Martin’s greater show of what is in his heart regarding his secretary. On the other hand, I found the addition of Lily Tomlin’s character to instruct Clouseau regarding political correctness an unnecessary (though somewhat amusing) distraction from the main story.

It is mostly predictable, except for the outcome of the relationship between Clouseau and Nicole (the secretary). But that’s fine; suspense is hardly the point of a comedy. And it accomplished its purpose, which was to provide plenty of laughs and entertain the whole family.

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