3 July 2006 | phasedin
If you're more a fan of the 1st 2 Panther movies, you may like this..
Most peoples opinion of the Pink Panther series is that as long as Peter Sellers was alive the films were classics. The ones made with leftover footage of Sellers, not so good, and the ones without Sellers ("Son Of PP", The Ted Wass "Curse Of PP", the Steve Martin remake)stink.
Well I am NOT of that opinion. Sure, it's nearly impossible to watch ANYONE else pretending to be the good Inspector, or a relative. But for me the best Panther films are the first 2 60's gems, "Pink Panther" and "A Shot In The Dark". Once Blake Edwards resurrected the series in 1975 with "Return" and "Strikes Again" the films got more and more silly and preposterous. I mean Clouseau' boss Dreyfus in an insane asylum or as the "Phantom Of the Opera" ruined the films for me long before most fans cried foul.
The thing I loved about the original 2 films were that, silly as they were, they were within the realm of possibility. That wasn't the case after "The Return of The Pink Panther", which I recall actually seeing in the movies on it's original release.
Perhaps that's why i'm much more forgiving of films like "Curse Of The PP" (the Ted Wass vehicle) because they didn't get as far out as the 1970's entries in the series with Sellers.
After finally catching the much maligned "Inspector Clousea" I have to say, although missing Sellers all the same, this is actually my 3rd favorite entry in the series right after the original two, and much better than the Steve Martin remake.
Of course one of the things for me that adds to it is the entire 60's vibe-I feel this is simply the most enjoyable time period to place this type of farce in. There's allot of 60's-isms that just fit in with this type of comedy. There's a reason Austin Powers tapped into the 60's thing for much of it's humor.
Arkin doesn't imitate Sellers (unlike Steve Martin) and plays Clousea a bit understated, but for me it works much better-again as one tries to image these things happening within the realm of real life. It's just too bad we don't have Herbert Lom as Dreyfus or a Henry Mancini music score (though there really is nothing wrong with the movies score at all as it is).
At this point in my life i've see the original Panther" and "Shot In The Dark" multiple times, but "Inspector Clousea" only twice making it my very favorite "Panther" movie to pull off the shelf and watch on my DVD burned from a cable TV showing of the flick.
Go into it with an open mind (especially those who somehow may not know the other movies in the series very well) and you could easily enjoy this very much..Far from a failure in my book..