Tue January 27, 2009
Pink Panther 2
Martin should be red-faced.
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
Ins. Jacques Clouseau: "Let me bring you up to speed... We know nothing. You are now up to speed."
That's the funniest line in Pink Panther 2. There are no others. This is the worst film I have seen in years, as banal and unstylish as to make a parking ticket humorous. It's even more painful to think that besides a simple-minded portrayal of the bungling Inspector Clouseau, Steve Martin has the temerity to claim partial responsibility for the script.
Yes, the same Steve Martin who writes fine short stories and plays, collects great works of art, and has been responsible for some of the best comedy in the last half of the twentieth century. He must need the cash.
What did I expect? It's February before the Oscars, when studios frequently dump the films they didn't dare release before, and which they hope will at least recoup the honey wagon cost because there is no competition. Paris never looked so drab, thanks to director Harold Zwart's blind aesthetic eye; Andy Garcia can't fake an Italian accent; and Jeremy Irons is spared a fine actor's reputation thanks to the cutting room floor.
Martin's Clouseau solves the mystery of the missing Pink Panther diamond; he should have solved the mystery of good filmmaking long ago. Oh, full disclosure-- there was one other good line: "You were 14 before you learned to enjoy the taste of avocado!"
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time and Cinema Classics shows, which can be heard streaming at http://publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/ppr/index.shtml and on demand anytime at http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/arts.artsmain Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com