‘Panther’ makeover

“De dun de duh … de dah .” We all know how the song goes, and of course, without fail the popular song (and cell phone ring tone) was a fixture in the new movie “The Pink Panther.” MGM and Columbia Picture’s newest film is stacked with an all-star cast including Steve Martin as the infamous Inspector Clouseau, Kevin Kline as Inspector Dreyfus and Beyonce Knowles as Xaria, the beautiful girlfriend of the man who’s murdered, the foundation for the case of “The Pink Panther.”

The Pink Panther diamond is the gem at stake. The ring that is the “symbol of pride and victory” was stolen at the scene of a murder during the International Soccer Finals in Paris. Inspector Clouseau is assigned to the case, resulting in an array of cringe-worthy bodily humor episodes as well as a few moments of compromising positions. Even I experienced some second-hand embarrassment on behalf of Martin.

Beyonce appears in the film wearing revealing clothing (would you expect anything else?) with most of her lines spoken in a come-hither tone showing her real acting chops. At least we get to see her sing. Her role is, yes, an advancement of her career, but a setback in terms of an aspiring actress’ goal of dramatic acting and tugging at the heartstrings of the American people.

Martin, on the other hand, does an amazing job as the bumbling, clumsy, idiotic inspector, making even the stupidest of moments genuinely humorous due to his charm and strength as the character in this film. He definitely had some moments of stereotypical Inspector Clouseau lines, such as, “Crime is like a jigsaw puzzle. You have to have the jig, and you have to have the saw.”

Very profound, and there’s a lot more of where that came from. And of course, what would a movie be like without some element of romance? As Clouseau describes, “A woman is like an artichoke – you have to do a bit of work before you get to her heart.” Eat your heart out, ladies, and enjoy this clever remake.

The Pink Panther opens nationwide on Friday.

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