‘Panther’ returns with more laughs

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Show stealers: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Steve Martin in ‘The Pink Panther 2’
Show stealers: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Steve Martin in ‘The Pink Panther 2’

Film: The Pink Panther 2

Cast: Steve Martin, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Director: Harald Zwart

There is something about that Pink Panther music and the crazy animation that brings a smile to one’s face. While there may be those who feel that Steve Martin’s Clouseau is not a patch on Peter Sellers in the Blake Edwards originals, one must always remember that comparisons are odious. Steve Martin’s Clouseau is his interpretation of the bumbling detective and works just fine.

In “Pink Panther 2”, Clouseau is part of an international dream team which includes specialists from Italy, Japan and England on the trail of a renowned thief, The Tornado.

Also in the mix is the sultry Sonya who has written a book on The Tornado. Clouseau’s long- suffering chief, inspector Dreyfus hopes Clouseau will make a fool of himself; which does spectacularly but he also solves the case and gets the girl. The movie is a star-studded extravaganza.

There is of course Steve Martin as Clouseau —complete with ridiculous French accent and pencil moustache. John Cleese takes over Kevin Kline for the thankless role as Dreyfus.

Andy Garcia looks wonderfully smarmy as Vincenzo, the Italian expert.

There is Alfred Molina as the British expert and a wonderfully-toned Jeremy Irons as a supercilious Italian fence who might have a connection with The Tornado. Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer reprise their roles as Clouseau’s deputy and love interest respectively.

Lily Tomlin plays Mrs Berenger who is trying to teach Clouseau to be politically correct, an uphill task as she discovers.

And of course, I have not forgotten the lovely Ms. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan! As the voluptuous femme fatale Sonya, she is competent and a sight for sore eyes with her gloriously golden tan and outfits she seems to have been poured into.

The laughs trip along smoothly including some hilarious stuff involving the Pope’s ring.

In these times of recession “The Pink Panther 2” with its happy laughs, lovely lads and ladies is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.




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