Pink Panther 2 (2009)

Rated PG. Our ratings: V-2; L-1 ; S/N -2. Running time: 1 hour 32 min.

Do you see persons wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for fools than for them.
Proverbs 26:12

Inspector Clouseau and his devoted assistant Ponton.

2009 MGM

Although the animated opening credits sequence, showing the Pink Panther in a multitude of humor ous situations, is probably the best part of this silly little farce, there are also some very funny mo ments that follow. Too many critics, wanting to hold director Harald Zwart and Steve Martin to the high level of the first two Blake Edwards-Peter Sellers comedies, have dissed the film unfairly. Far from a masterpiece, it nonetheless will provide an hour and a half escape for anyone wanting a break from the serious movies still playing after all the Oscar buzz.

The formula for the series is as old as comedy: a bumbling fool who takes himself too seriously is dismissed by everyone as useless yet somehow manages to emerge victorious by the end of the story. Surely Inspector Jacques Clouseau is like the persons in the proverb, “wise in their own eyes.” But not in the eyes of his superior as Insp. Dreyfus (John Cleese), who has assigned him to working the parking meters of Paris.

Meanwhile a series of thefts have occurred, pulled off by a master criminal calling himself “The Tornado.” In England it is the Magna Carta in Japan the Japanese Emperor’s Sword; and in Italy the Shroud of Turin. Can the Pink Panther, the diamond that is the symbol of France, and which Clouseau had rescued before, be next on the master criminal’s list? Watch what happens when Clouseau is assigned to an international Dream Team of detectives, all of whom are almost as “wise in their own eyes” as he is.

No great lessons in this film: just relax and enjoy the fun that is heightened by a squad of thespians that include Jean Reno (Ponton, Clouseau‘s loyal assistant—who doesn‘t realize that he is smarter than his boss), Emily Mortimer (Nicole, the office assistant too shy to express her love for Clouseau), Alfred Molina (Pepperidge, an English detective who engages in a deduction duel with Clouseau), Andy Garcia (Vicenzo, an Italian inspector, and smitten with Nicole), Aishwarya Rai (Sonia, who turns out to have a secret past), John Cleese (Dreyfus, Clouseau‘s hapless superior), and Lily Tomin (who is the official Etiquette Officer frequently calling Clouseau on the carpet for his sexist and racist remarks).