The Pink Panther 2 Harold Zwart

The Pink Panther 2 Harold Zwart
Steve Martin does a lot of falling in The Pink Panther 2. I didn't keep detailed notes but I remember him falling off a balcony, off a window ledge and down a chimney, crashing through three floors along the way. When sneaking through a window, he steps on a giant globe that rolls along the floor, causing him to jump for a chandelier, swing helplessly and fall onto a table, breaking it in the process. This is one of at least two tables that Martin breaks in the film. I just wanted you to know that I was paying attention.

Martin once again plays Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the bumbling French detective made famous by Peter Sellers and director Black Edwards. The Sellers/Edwards comedies weren't masterpieces but at least they knew not to smother the comedy with aggressively wacky music/sound effects, and Sellers was able to delve into the role like a chameleon instead of approaching it with smug detachment — Martin can't even be bothered to keep his faux accent consistent.

The plot, in which Clouseau is enlisted into an "international dream team" to find a master thief, involves little more than Martin entering a room, flailing around and destroying the place while the other actors look on in exasperation. Unlike the better Sellers/Edwards films, these scenes don't build upon one another in any coherent comic strategy; it's all wackiness, all the time.

The insanely famous cast (including Alfred Molina, Aishwarya Rai, Andy Garcia, Emily Mortimer, Jeremy Irons, Jean Reno and professional cameo whore John Cleese) are called upon to do little more than provide horrified reaction shots to Martin's bumbling. If somebody had cut out all of these reaction shots, the film would probably have been only three minutes long. (MGM)