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Son of the Pink Panther
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The story has the Pink Panther diamond stolen yet again, and put onto a case is a stumblebum young French policeman who is unaware that he is Inspector Jacques Clouseau's illegitimate son, his mother being Maria Gambrelli from "A Shot In The Dark". The plot is thin and confusing and hokey (Dreyfus falling in love with Gambrelli?) and the laughs are few. Robert Benigni, who plays the son, brings boyish enthusiasm to the role, but nobody else in the movie helps him.
The inherent problem with this movie is that Benigni is supposed to replace the Inspector Clouseau role. But the idea of Jacques Clouseau was that his character was one who kept acting dignified and haughty no matter what pratfalls he went through; Benigni purposefully acts like a silly clown and the whole concept of Clouseau is spoiled. The whole series just didn't work without Peter Sellers.
Enter future Oscar winner Roberto Benigni, who would actually receive the exact opposite of an Oscar for this role. He's clean-shaven, part Italian Jacques Gumbrelli Clouseau Jr., not mustached Jacques Clouseau, making this a new character and leaving Benigni to the type of humor that works for him.
Unfortunately, the humor doesn't work for the entire movie. The movie moves almost completely away from the overdone routines of the rest of the series, but there are only a few laugh out loud scenes, with some small chuckles in between. The biggest problem with the film, though, would have to be the plot. Pink Panther plots have been mangled messes before, but never to this extent. There's so much political intrigue and scandal involved that it's hard to figure out what anyone's motivation in, even during the climax.
Herbert Lom is back for his final performance as Chief Inspector Dreyfus, now more sane and subdued. Burt Kwouk is also back reprising his reoccurring role as Kato, the late Clouseau's humble servant. Disguise master Professor Balls, played in the most recent films by Harvey Korman, is now played by Graham Stark, a friend of Sellers who appeared in different roles in many of the films. These performances almost make the movie feel like a valid part of the series.
Henry Mancini's score, as in all of the films, is the highlight, and Bobby McFerrin's performance of the theme music is perfect.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Roberto Benigni is perfect in this role. Very entreating movie for any Pink Panther fan. Herbert Lom is awesome as usual.Published 6 months ago by F. Hetherington
This film was done fine years before Roberto Begnini won an Academy Award for his performance in "Life is Beautiful. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Sylviastel