Making the Grades
After taking on the role of Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the 2006 film The Pink Panther, Steve Martin is back on the prowl as the bumbling French detective. Awarded the country’s highest honor for recovering the famous Pink Panther diamond, Clouseau has since been assigned by his superior, Chief Inspector Dreyfus (John Cleese), to deal with parking infractions. But when a reclusive art thief named The Tornado comes out of retirement and starts pinching ancient artifacts and national treasures, Dreyfus is forced to transfer Clouseau to a Dream Team of the world’s top detectives.
Accompanied by his sidekick Ponton (Jean Reno), Clouseau prepares to meet with agents Vicenzo (Andy Garcia), Pepperidge (Alfred Molina), Kenji (Yuki Matsuzaki) and Sonia (Aishwarya Rai) in an attempt to recover the Shroud of Turin, a historic Japanese sword and other irreplaceable relics. However, when the Pink Panther diamond is pilfered from it’s secure case in the French capital, the newly assembled Dream Team congregates instead at the scene of the latest heist to begin their investigation.
With news cameras rolling and correspondents questioning their every move, the group of law enforcement personnel attempts to gather clues about the shifty crook. Unfortunately, Clouseau manages to unintentionally tamper with almost all of the evidence before it can be analyzed. Yet, smudged fingerprints don’t come close to the damage caused by Clouseau’s other faux pas. While trying to recreate the sequence of events behind the robbery of the Pope’s (Eugene Lazarev) ring, Clouseau dons the sacred robes and walks out on the balcony where faithful followers mistake him for their spiritual leader. Later he dangles two children over the side of another balcony after they attack him in his apartment.
Even before his social blunders are blazoned in headlines around the globe, Mrs. Berenger (Lily Tomlin), a woman of advancing years and impeccable social graces, is hired a to teach sensitivity training and anti-harassment skills to the inept Clouseau. Regrettably she doesn’t get a rein on him before the detective ogles a young assistant at his office and makes ethnically rude comments about a team member.
Martin, along with a burgeoning cast of new characters in this film, endeavors to recreate the oddball humor and physical antics made famous by the celebrated British actor Peter Sellers who played the original Inspector Clouseau. Stocked with a smattering of sexual innuendo, racial slurs, profanities and plenty of slapstick violence, The Pink Panther 2 offers moments of comedic genius and a few great guffaws, but struggles to sustain the laughter.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Pink Panther 2.
How does Clouseau feel when the other detectives want to vote him off the Dream Team? How does he show he is still committed to finding justice?
What does Clouseau learn from Ponton about marriage and family relationships? Though work schedules are often demanding, what compromises are necessary in order to keep a marriage intact?