The Pink Panther Shawn Levy

It’s impossible to rid the memory of Peter Sellers from this heinous remake. In the ’60s and ’70s, Sellers was loved for his portrayal of the clumsy French detective Closeau, who bumbled his way into solving cases of the missing Pink Panther diamond. Slowly and hilariously, he drove his boss, Inspector Dreyfus, mad. In these films, the stories didn’t matter; Sellers did. Steve Martin is one of the brightest and funniest men in film today but he falls on his face with this horrible film. Martin plays Closeau as vain and stupid, hardly an endearing character, whereas Sellers portrayed him as a lovable bumbler. The story has to do with recovering the Panther diamond after it disappears during a soccer match in front of a packed stadium. Like Martin, Kevin Kline (as Dreyfus), Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer and Clive Owen also waste their talents here. Only Beyonce looks comfortable playing (surprise, surprise) a pop diva. The laughs amount to Martin falling down, breaking objects and having soccer balls bounce off his head; Martin’s feel mechanical and obvious. The bad French accents by Martin and Kline are annoying, not funny. Playing a gendarme, Jean Reno looks embarrassed throughout, but I’m sure he collected a nice paycheque from MGM. Perhaps to boost sales, MGM has loaded this DVD with extras. A commentary by director Levy is spirited and detailed but he sounds too much like a cheerleader. With a straight face he explains how Martin hatched this or that gag. The three "Sleuth cams” are nothing more than on-set footage without narration and are only mildly interesting. There is the obligatory bland P.R. featurette, plus several forgettable outtakes and a Beyonce music video for "Check It Out.” Lastly, there’s also a shameless commercial for Sweet ‘n’ Low starring the animated pink panther. Peter Sellers must be rolling his grave. (MGM/Sony)