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Lots of laughs

The opening sequence of the 2006 version of "The Pink Panther" sets the mood for the entire film. As the credits appear, we follow an animated pink panther as he eludes the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. The sequence is lively, and fun, and the same can be said for the rest of the film. Although it lacks a developed plot, the movie provides a lot of laughs, largely due to Steve Martin as the silly and ridiculous Clouseau.

The murder of a famous soccer coach, Yves Gluant, and the simultaneous theft of his diamond ring, dubbed the "Pink Panther," become the top priority case for the French Police and Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline).

Dreyfus, desperate to be given a French national honor, decides to appoint the most inadequate and ill-prepared French policeman to the job. Enter Clouseau, whose way with words and physical coordination are found wanting. Dreyfus anticipates Clouseau making a fool of himself over the case, thus forcing Dreyfus to take over and solve the mystery himself.

With fellow policeman Gendarme Ponton (Jean Reno) as his partner and bodyguard, Inspector Clouseau begins work on the case. From questioning suspects to following Xania (played by Beyonce Knowles), Gluant's former girlfriend, to picking up clues, Clouseau wreaks havoc and destruction wherever he goes.

The plot thickens as another man is murdered and Clouseau uncovers more about the mysterious Xania. Only after Clouseau is kicked off the case, however, is he able to pull himself together and solve the murder. To be honest, it's quite shocking that he is able to do so, given his previous lack of deductive reasoning.

"The Pink Panther" is a true crime caper, though one reminiscent of "The Three Stooges" with its abundance of physical comedy. Martin and Reno make a great team, playing off each other easily. Kline seems to enjoy himself as the egotistical Chief Inspector. Beyonce's role is relatively small, so her talents as an actress are hardly tested. Although the film carries a PG rating, the suggestive humor is, at times, a little too suggestive for younger kids. Though it may be short on a plot line, "The Pink Panther" isn't short on funny moments. It's these moments that make the film, and Martin's performance makes up for any shortcomings.

The Pink Panther


Review: 2 1/2 stars (Out of 4)

Natalie Franczyk is a senior at Nichols.

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