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The Pink Panther is a family comedy feature film released in 2006. It is a reboot of the The Pink Panther film series. In this film, Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) is assigned to solve the murder of a famous soccer coach and the theft of the famous Pink Panther diamond. The film also stars Kevin Kline, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer and Beyoncé Knowles. It was panned by critics and holds a 23% score on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film was the number 1 film in America and the highest grossing film of the Pink Panther film series; as of May 10, 2009. It was released on Blu-ray disc on January 20, 2009.

Plot synopsis

The film opens with the Chief Inspector, Charles Dreyfus (Kevin Kline), who tells the story of the Pink Panther diamond theft case. A flashback appears as Dreyfus tells the story. Soccer coach Yves Gluant (Jason Statham) comes down the stadium, showing his trademark Pink Panther diamond ring. He then happily kisses Xania (Beyoncé Knowles), his girlfriend, after whispering to her. Yves' team win the match, but then Yves dies with a poison dart in his neck, and the Pink Panther diamond ring vanishes from his hand. Inspector Charles Dreyfus, eager to win the Légion d'honneur (translated as the "Medal of Honor" in the film), appoints clumsy third class detective Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) to the case as Dreyfus assembles a team of investigators to tackle the mystery in secret, while planning to take over the case and win the Légion d'honneur. Dreyfus also appoints Gendarme Gilbert Ponton (Jean Reno) to report on Clouseau's whereabouts at all times.

Clouseau makes little progress at first, bungling one situation after another. Bizu, a star player who hated Gluant and was the prime suspect, is shot in the head and killed. A girl witness had heard him say "Oh, it's you," immediately before being shot; therefore Clouseau tells Ponton to gather all the people in Paris with the name "You". He interviews an old Cantonese woman (credited as "Yu") and appears not to understand her. While at a casino, with the intent of asking some questions of owner Raymond Larocque (Gluant's business partner, played by Roger Rees), he encounters British Secret Agent 006 Nigel Boswell (Clive Owen, parodying James Bond). Boswell later poses as Clouseau in order to conceal his identity while stopping a robbery by the notorious "Gas-Masked Bandits". Clouseau receives credit for the deed and thus is nominated for the Légion d'honneur, much to Dreyfus's annoyance.

Believing that Xania knows more than she has revealed, Clouseau follows her to New York Citymarker, having tried to gain a flawless American accent but with no success. Before he can return to Francemarker, his bag is exchanged for another by a woman working for Dreyfus while he waits in line at airport security. The new bag, which contains several weapons (including a flail, a pocket knife, nunchucks, a grenade, and a revolver), sets off the metal detector. After he refuses to empty his pockets, which contain hamburgers, he is arrested, being unable to explain his situation as a result of his inability to pronounce the word "hamburger", the only word Clouseau's dialect coach tried (and failed) to teach him. Upon Clouseau's return to France, Dreyfus insults him and strips him of his inspector rank, preparing to win the case. Based on his evidence — that the poison that killed Gluant was derived from Chinese herbs — Dreyfus deduces that the killer is a Chinese envoy named Dr. Pang, whom he plans on arresting at the upcoming Presidential Ball. Dreyfus later orders the event's planners to remove Clouseau's name from the guest list.

Having returned home, Clouseau finds a photo of his arrest on the Internet. He sees something significant in the photo, and immediately makes his way to the Élysée Palacemarker with Ponton, where they sneak into the Presidential Ball with the help of Clouseau's secretary Nicole. Dreyfus arrests Dr. Pang for double murder, but Clouseau and Ponton are able to prevent the murder of Xania by pursuing and capturing the real killer, who turns out to be Yuri, the French soccer team's trainer, otherwise known to Clouseau as "the Trainer who Trains." Clouseau then reveals that the Cantonese woman, who it is made clear Clouseau understood perfectly, "reminded" Clouseau that all soccer trainers must be learned in herbal medicine; furthermore, Bizu was shot in the occipital lobe of the brain, a location that would be known to Yuri on the premise that all soldiers who served in the Russian military (as Yuri was before he was a soccer trainer) must also be expert marksmen and know the precise location of the occipital lobe (though in the film the shot was actually into the frontal lobe). Clouseau also reveals that Yuri tried to kill Xania because she went out with Gluant and Bizu and ignored him. Xania is revealed to have the Pink Panther diamond sewn into the lining of her purse, having received it from Gluant as an engagement ring. Clouseau then reveals that he had seen the diamond in her purse while examining the photograph of his arrest, which also showed a view of her purse as it appeared to the airport's luggage scanner. Dreyfus makes a clumsy attempt to take credit, saying his arrest of the Chinese envoy was a ploy to draw out the real killer. For his success, Clouseau wins the Légion d'honneur.

Later, Dreyfus is severely injured when Clouseau's Smart car drags him on the road for several minutes after Clouseau unknowingly closes the door on his pant leg. A visit by Clouseau to a hospital where Dreyfus lies bandaged culminates in Dreyfus's plunge through a hospital window into a river as he lies on a gurney.

Cast

Actor Role
Steve Martin Inspector Jacques Clouseau
Jean Reno Gendarme Gilbert Ponton
Kevin Kline Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus
Emily Mortimer Nicole Nuveau
Beyoncé Knowles Xania
Henry Czerny Yuri the Trainer Who Trains
Kristen Chenoweth Cherie
Roger Rees Raymond Laroque
William Abadie Bizu
Scott Adkins Jacquard
Dexter Bell Terry Ahkee-Sauce
Charlotte Maier Dialect Coach
Cameo Appearances
Actor Role
Jason Statham Yves Gluant (uncredited)
Clive Owen Nigel Boswell/Agent 006 (uncredited)
Paul Korda Pierre Duquette (uncredited)


Mike Myers was considered for the role of Clouseau. Robin Williams was an early contender. Kevin Spacey was rumoured for the role but angrily denied it.

Previous treatments

During filming, a group led by Sony Pictures Entertainment purchased MGM. This acquisition led to a $5 million re-shooting and re-editing process in order to garner a PG rating, therefore appealing to a family-friendly audience rather than the original, more mature target audience. A novelization published in July 2005 was based on the final version of the script prior to the extensive re-shoot. Some of these deleted scenes are available for viewing on the DVD edition of the film, such as the alternate airplane sequence. Not including those scenes, the differences between the version in the novel and the final film are as follows:
  • There is more profanity and sexuality in the earlier version.
  • In the final film, Clouseau's antics as a village gendarme are revealed in an explanation from Dreyfus, accented with flashbacks of several short, unique incidents. Originally, there was to be a single separate scene showing a typical case of Clouseau's, involving the robbery of a hot dog cart.
  • Several press conference scenes are much longer in the pre-edit version. In addition, there are several scenes featuring Dreyfus speaking to his deputy chief Renard, dispensing his thoughts as the case develops.
  • In the original movie, Bizu's animosity against Xania and Gluant, along with his narcissism, was shown much more in depth than in the alternate version. For example, in the beginning when he is switched with the inexperienced soccer player (albeit, this fact is never revealed in the final movie, with Bizu not being mentioned at all through the opening sequence), Bizu gets into a brawl with Gluant, with a substantial amount of fighting and swearing until his teammates break it up, along with another scene in which Clouseau is questioning Bizu at a factory, printing posters of himself on which he is modeling topless in sexually provocative positions. An edited version of the opening scene was released in the Deleted Scenes on the DVD, while the factory scene was completely deleted and replaced by the scene in which Clouseau is interrogating him at the police station.
  • The scene involving Nicole taking Clouseau's measurements also included additional lines of mildly risque dialogue while trying to find his waist measurement.
  • During the scene where Clouseau first interrogates Xania, she mentions giving Gluant "the greatest gift... my virginity". At the end of the scene, as Clouseau and Ponton are leaving, Clouseau asks Xania if she would someday "lose her virginity to me too", to which she shyly responds "Maybe".
  • Before Clouseau meets Agent 006, he plays a game of roulette and is flabbergasted upon losing.
  • The scene where Clouseau places a leaky pen in Dreyfus's breast pocket is a running gag in the earlier draft.
  • The already suggestive scene in Xania's hotel room is even more sexual in the earlier version. Also, upon losing the Viagra pill (or as Clouseau calls it his "Miracle Pill For The Middle-Aged Man") down the drain, Clouseau sneaks out of the hotel and into the city, in the hopes that he can refill his prescription. Before doing so, he deposits his "Flaming Mojito" in a potted plant in the lobby. Clouseau visits two pharmacies, both of which are closed. Using Agent 006's glass-cutting device (seen earlier in the Gas Mask Bandits scene), he breaks into the second pharmacy and gets the medication himself. Just before the romance begins, the mojito sets the lobby ablaze. Everyone is evacuated to the streets, including a nearly naked Xania and Clouseau.
  • The Medal of Honor ceremony is seen in the earlier version. A humiliated Dreyfus is forced to present the award to Clouseau and Ponton, complete with the customary hug and kiss. Following the ceremony, the police receive word that the Gas Mask Bandits from earlier in the film have escaped, and Clouseau and Ponton jump on the case. In the chaos, Dreyfus is knocked off a bridge into the Seinemarker, causing Clouseau to sigh and deliver the ironic film-closing line, "A great detective, the chief inspector... but clumsy".
  • Steve Martin and Kevin Kline had previously worked together in the 1991 Fox drama feature film, Grand Canyon.


Reception

The film received mostly negative reviews and is currently holding a 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Music

Christophe Beck is credited with the film score which was released as the soundtrack album The Pink Panther about one month following the release of the film. Singer Beyoncé Knowles performed two songs for the film, "A Woman Like Me" and "Check On It", and numerous other songs were used in small parts, but only Beck's original score was included on the soundtrack album.

Sequel

The sequel to this film titled The Pink Panther 2 was released on February 6, 2009. There has also been some talk on making another film, titled The Pink Panther 3.

Notes

  1. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000196/news
  2. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000245/news
  3. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000228/news
  4. Beck, C. (2003). The Pink Panther CD. Studio City: Varese Sarabande.
  5. Shuman, I.; Simonds, R., Trench, T. (Producers), & Levy, S. (Director). (2006). The Pink Panther. Los Angeles, CA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


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