Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Pink Panther


This was what they call a “troubled production.” We started seeing the trailers more than a year before it finally came out, so I assume they were working in the cutting room trying to assemble something funnier than the test audiences saw. You know you’re in trouble when the best thing about a movie is the music, and that music is 44 years old. (By Henry Mancini, and still as good as the day I first heard it.) Some of the physical humor works, but even that seems a bit off. (They start out with Clouseau nearly killing two old people, one of them in a wheelchair. Hilarious.) The verbal stuff just falls flat. They even go the ridiculous path of trying for pathos near the end, when Clouseau is made to realize he’s an idiot. Clouseau must never realize he’s an idiot, you idiot screenwriters! His self-assurance is impenetrable! Then they make him into a genius, which is even worse. Steve Martin is no Peter Sellers, and whoever directed this piece of shit is no Blake Edwards. But don’t worry! There’s a sequel in the works! The mind reels to think it might be worse than this, but you know sequels …