User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 95
  2. Negative: 24 out of 95
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  1. MarkB.
    Apr 1, 2006
    2
    "Always look on the bright side of life," sang Monty Python during the crucifixion in Life of Brian. And so, in keeping with those musical words of wisdom and applying them to Steve Martin's virtually laugh-free remake of the popular Inspector Clouseau slapstick farces of the 1960s and 70s, I will now endeavor to catalog a few rays of sunshine peeking out of this almost total "Always look on the bright side of life," sang Monty Python during the crucifixion in Life of Brian. And so, in keeping with those musical words of wisdom and applying them to Steve Martin's virtually laugh-free remake of the popular Inspector Clouseau slapstick farces of the 1960s and 70s, I will now endeavor to catalog a few rays of sunshine peeking out of this almost total eclipse: 1.) Its release gives MGM a promotional excuse to release a box set of Pink Panther cartoons, which with the dismantling of Warner Bros.' and MGM's theatrical cartoon wings and the slowing down of Disney's, provided almost the only new animated character to do a series of big-screen adventures in the 60s, some of which are little masterpieces of dry wit and stylish graphic design. 2.) Since Sony/ MGM chickened out of its original plans to release this movie last summer, it didn't have to compete with The Longest Yard and Bad News Bears for the title of Crappiest Non-Horror Remake of the Year, and it's got the field very nicely sewn up for 2006! 3.) It's great to hear Henry Mancini's seminal theme music played in the big screen again (even if the accompanying opening credits animation, featuring a Martinized Clouseau, is just as substandard as the rest of the movie). 4.) Emily Mortimer (Match Point) almost singlehandedly rises above the muck, adorably playing a Gallic Miss Moneypenney with beguiling bemusement--and, unlike Martin, doing a comic French accent that works. 5.) Clive Owen, in an unbilled cameo as Agent 006, proves ONCE AGAIN that he's the rightful, unjustly robbed heir to 007. 6.) Even though Blake Edwards, the creator and director of the original Pink Panther movie series, has always struck me as an overrated comic talent whose humor is too often rather smug and mean-spirited (his best film was by far his most uncharacteristic one: the harrowing 1962 alcoholism drama Days of Wine and Roses), the total ineptitude of Shawn Levy's take on the material gave me a new appreciation of everything Edwards did RIGHT. Edwards' slapstick-and-destruction sequences were always carefully and meticulously structured and made perfect sense in their own farcical universe; Levy's comic effects either come out of no logical place or, worse, are painfully predictable. The original Edwards' Panther comedies (which many people feel peaked with A Shot in the Dark in 1965) worked surpisingly well as mysteries, too: you could logically deduce whodunit from the clues given you if you weren't being too distracted by Clouseau's antics, while the solution to Levy's puzzle is maddeningly arbitrary. Worst of all is the character of Clouseau himself as written, directed and acted here; he's a total betrayal of everything Edwards designed him as being. Originally a brain-dead bumbler who either stumbled onto the culprit totally by accident or had someone else solve the case while he tripped over something, as played here he's required to leap approximately 78 I.Q. points in the final stretch, solve everything, and become the hero even though in 75% of the movie he's clearly shown as tragically unable to plumb the hidden mysteries of a can opener. And Peter Sellers' genius at becoming completely invisible within his characterizations (illustrated in the HBO TV-movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, starring Geoffrey Rush, it's a talent that served Sellers even better in Dr. Strangelove and Being There) worked beautifully in the role of Clouseau; Martin indulges his old stand-up comic's tendency to stand outside the role and loudly comment on it. The result, besides being thoroughly obnoxious, is a complete besmirchment of a character and performance he's allegedly paying tribute to. (As though to compensate, Kevin Kline and Jean Reno, normally sterling comic talents, underplay to the point of flatlining.) 7.) Going back to the bright side, I DID, owing to a coupon I got in the aforementioned cartoon box set I bought, get into this movie for free, but you know what? I STILL think I was overcharged! Expand
  2. LindaM.
    Aug 22, 2006
    1
    Being a big Steve Martin fan, I was predisposed to like this movie despite the weak reviews. What a disappointment! Where can I start? Steve Martin's accent and lip pursing were SO wrong. And at the very least, he should have dyed his hair black to match the mustache.....or made the mustache white to match his hair. He seemed "fake" from the start because of this simple problem. Sad Being a big Steve Martin fan, I was predisposed to like this movie despite the weak reviews. What a disappointment! Where can I start? Steve Martin's accent and lip pursing were SO wrong. And at the very least, he should have dyed his hair black to match the mustache.....or made the mustache white to match his hair. He seemed "fake" from the start because of this simple problem. Sad to see him this way. Kevin Kline, too. Why do great actors take such roles? I agree with some reviewer who said that Kline might have made the better Clousseau; but he seemed pretty wooden in this role. Yes, there are a lot of laughs to be had from the physical comedy, but the dialogue and the acting were almost painul. I had been looking forward to this movie ever since I heard Steve Martin was making it. Again, what a disappointment. Expand
  3. firaf
    Jun 24, 2009
    2
    Absolutely awful If Steve Martin thinks his movie is any good then should play a different character in a different story other than Inspector Clouseau and the Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers. I say this because those not familiar with his predecessor think this movie might be good, they ought to watch this as a standalone movie about a different character unrelated to the PINK Absolutely awful If Steve Martin thinks his movie is any good then should play a different character in a different story other than Inspector Clouseau and the Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers. I say this because those not familiar with his predecessor think this movie might be good, they ought to watch this as a standalone movie about a different character unrelated to the PINK PANTHER movies !!! what a shame for Peter Sellers a lost opportunity to follow on from his films. Expand
  4. ShaunS.
    Dec 26, 2006
    0
    What an insult to the master Peter Sellers. He must be turning in his grave, absolute drival.
  5. Jim
    Feb 15, 2006
    1
    The only enjoyment I got out of this movie came from the contributions by Clive Owen and Jason Statham. Oh and Beyonce was hauntingly beautiful as always. For these reasons alone I give this a 1. This should be avoided by all.
  6. Hannes
    Mar 26, 2006
    1
    It's not funny. Peter Sellers does it 100 times better than Steve Martin. The movie is a shame for the Pink Panther series.
  7. BrettM.
    Jun 14, 2006
    0
    This is the worst movie i have ever seen, and is milking the title that Peter Shelers built from the ground up. Only to have Stevey tear the name down!
  8. DaveQ.
    Jul 24, 2006
    2
    Steve Martin has finally hit bottom. I guess he can only go up from here, right? I'm not so sure. If you had seen any of the Sellers Panthers your only reaction could be to cry, not laugh.
  9. MattW.
    Feb 18, 2007
    1
    Utter disappointment. The only way to be a successful Clouseau is to imitate Peter Sellers. Mike Meyers would have been ideal as Clouseau--besides, he's a great fan of the original series; Jason Alexander would have made a good Dreyfus (Herbert Lom, in the original movies, didn't need a strong French accent--it's the temper that made Dreyfus who he was); Jackie Chan could Utter disappointment. The only way to be a successful Clouseau is to imitate Peter Sellers. Mike Meyers would have been ideal as Clouseau--besides, he's a great fan of the original series; Jason Alexander would have made a good Dreyfus (Herbert Lom, in the original movies, didn't need a strong French accent--it's the temper that made Dreyfus who he was); Jackie Chan could have portrayed Cato (who was just as inept as Clouseau--is supposed to attack Clouseau, not the other way around). Moreover, we don't need to resort to jokes with innuendos and flatulence to make Clouseau funny. Expand
  10. PauloS.
    Sep 19, 2006
    0
    ONE OF THE WORST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN! Not even close to the original. Steve did a bad job. Kevin Kline would have been a much better choice to play Closeau.
Metascore
38

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 35
  2. Negative: 14 out of 35
  1. Even with the inspired choice of Steve Martin in the Clouseau role, this "Panther" picture is more bumbling and fumbling than the blissfully oblivious, accident-prone Inspector.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    Neither the disaster one might have suspected nor a fully realized madcap farce; rather, Steve Martin's foray as Inspector Clouseau exhibits bursts of wild-and-craziness, but hardly enough to sustain even its relatively brief running time.
  3. 58
    Martin makes a fine Clouseau, re-energizing musty old physical gags involving chandeliers and priceless vases, and rolling his tongue around a zesty form of pidgin French. If he ever finds his Blake Edwards, there may be hope for this franchise yet.