"The Return of the Pink Panther" re-teams director Blake Edwards with star Peter Sellars in a very successful follow-up to the popular original. Now out on DVD, "Return of the Pink Panther" brings the film to a new generation, and is still as funny as ever.
Okay, "funny as ever" isn't a very honest statement since I had never seen this film before, but since I had never seen it, was born after it was originally released and still found it quite funny, that's got to mean something. It had been a while since I had watched Sellars in action and I'd forgotten just how funny he was - and shows that there is really no way Steve Martin can top his crazy antics... which is interesting since this movie was clearly released for the sole purpose of promoting and taking advantage of the release of the new version of "The Pink Panther," starring Martin.
Anyway, this film has Sellars returning to the role of Inspector Clouseau to track down the robber of the Pink Panther diamond, which apparently is the work of The Phantom (Christopher Plummer), who stole the diamond in the first movie. Of course, he's only being framed, but the bumbling detective is determined to find his man. Throw in a psychotic police chief who wants to murder Clouseau after years of stupidity and you've got yourself a plot.
"Return" never lets up with the antics, and even though most of the humor is seemingly average slapstick jokes, Sellars pulls it off with ease. Unlike modern day slapstick comedies where everything and everyone is goofy, "Return" has the idiot Clouseau out-of-place in an otherwise normal world, which makes his antics all the funnier. Why modern day films can't get a grasp on this is beyond me, but oh well...
The DVD doesn't have much, if any, special features, which is a bit odd these days, but the movie is good enough to make up for it. Obviously the studio wanted to spend as little amount of money as possible in getting this to market just at the precise time to sell a few copies and make people aware that a new "Pink Panther" flick is coming out in a couple weeks. Of course, now I'm advertising the new version which is almost certainly going to be a disaster, so I'm going to stop talking now.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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