While the original Pink Panther films are not something that remain in the conscious of most movie goers today, they really are some of the best examples of comedy that is both slapstick in nature as well as humor driven by ridiculous dialogue, funny accents and…well, more slapstick. So while the formula is simple and easy to replicate, the end result is, unfortunately, not always as enjoyable as the originals. The recent Steve Martin offerings, for example, seem to be mere shadows of what the originals once were and rely on the repetition of moderately entertaining jokes or almost entirely on the visual gag. It should come as no surprise then that these films haven’t been particularly well received by critics or audiences, with this latest offering grossing barely over $75 million…worldwide.
Steve Martin returns to the scene of the fun as the brilliant, bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau in this side-splitting slapstick comedy for the whole family! When legendary treasures from around the world are stolen, including the priceless Pink Panther diamond, Clouseau is assigned to a dream team of international detectives who are under pressure to bring the master thief to justice before he strikes again. Co-starring Jean Reno, Alfred Molina, Andy Garcia, Lily Tomlin and John Cleese, The Pink Panther 2 will steal your heart…and keep you laughing!
Unfortunately while the series has become a bastion for Hollywood talent that we don’t see much anymore, with the likes of Martin, Reno, Molina, Garcia, Tomlin and Cleese rounding out the cast, we never really see why they became such legends in the first place. Their appearances in this film seem to be nothing more than an attempt to laugh at the mere presence of them, as seeing them again is like seeing an old friend again in some cases (seriously, where has Tomlin been hiding?). Sadly, however, their visages can only go so far, as the film ultimately rings hollow and disappointing from start to finish.
The entire film is just Martin acting ridiculous as usual, which is entertaining by its own right, but really…there’s just too little in the film to really occupy your attention with. Even with a scant run time of 92 minutes, the film feels boring as the “mystery” just paints Clouseau as a bumbling idiot who is unable to do anything (OK, so that’s pretty much true, but c’mon…you keep calling the guy, obviously he gets results). Again, the film is entertaining just for the some of the visuals and whatnot, but it’s just such…a hollow adventure.
I’ve wracked my brain for hours after watching this film on what to even comment on and…there truly is nothing here of substance. The visuals are nice to gaze upon, but not enough so that it actually warrants a viewing. The pratfalls and antics are amusing…but, again, it really just comes down to there being little to invest yourself in.
Overall there’s just nothing worthwhile in Pink Panther 2. Cheap entertainment, sure, but it’s really just something you leave on in the background as you go about doing something else. Performances are entertaining and admirable from all fronts…but there’s just no substance or content to become invested in the film at all. But this is a PG rated film that seems to be geared towards children, so maybe I’m just overanalyzing it too much. I think I’ll just go watch a Peter Sellers Panther and laugh my head off there…
Fox has released The Pink Panther 2 in a standard three-disc Elite Blu-ray case. Yes, you read that right…three discs. The first disc is the film, then the obligatory digital copy and a third disc that includes twenty-seven Pink Panther cartoons. Hmm…this release may not be a total waste after all. The package is simple, with no cardboard slip cover of any kind and the usual inserts (inserts and digital copy redemption code). Menus are likewise simple and easy to navigate.
An AVC encoded (@34.75mpbs) 1080p transfer brings to life the film in stunning high definition…and no, that wasn’t a promo line, it really is quite stunning looking. The scenery looks fantastic and really that’s about the most enjoyable part of the entire film—watching it in high definition. Plenty of detail abounds and everything about this modernly produced film shines. On top of that the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also impressive, with a solid front end and a fair amount of surround work. The film does have a bit of action in it, so it’s not entirely surprising that it sounds and looks good, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise. Also included are Spanish, French, and Portuguese DD5.1 tracks as well as English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean subtitles.
Disc one boasts the following extras:
• Gag reel
• Drama is Easy…Comedy is Dangerous
• A Dream Team Like No Other
• Master Thief-Global Crime Showdown!
They’re pretty basic and short in run time, but if you enjoyed the film you might enjoy the featurettes (the “Showdown!” is a trivia game). The best of the extras, however, are found on the third disc of the set, which contain the following twenty-seven classic Pink Panther cartoons:
• The Pink Phink – 1964 Academy-Award® winner for Short Subjects, Animated Films
• Pink Pajamas
• We Give Pink Stamps
• Dial ‘P’ For Pink
• Sink Pink
• Pickled Pink
• Shocking Pink
• Pink Ice
• The Pink Tail Fly
• Pink Panzer
• An Ounce of Pink
• Reel Pink
• Bully For Pink
• Pink Punch
• Pink Pistons
• Vitamin Pink
• The Pink Blue Print
• Pink, Plunk, Plink
• Smile Pretty, Say Pink
• Genie With The Light Pink Fur
• Super Pink
• Rock A Bye Pinky
• Pink Panic
• Pink Posies
While I’m sure the cartoons are available elsewhere, it’s a nice bonus to find on this release, especially since they total nearly three hours of bonus material. Since this is mostly a children’s film anyway, the cartoons are an added bonus and definitely make this release worth picking up if you don’t already own the cartoons in other forms. In any case, this disc is worth a Rental at least. It’s a forgettable film, but the talent involved and the cartoons included are worth checking out at least.
The Pink Panther 2 is now on DVD and Blu-ray.