Monday, 28 June 2010

Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)

Peter Sellars' last outing as Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseaua relentlessly silly and often very funny movie. Chief Insp. Charles Dreyfus is just coming out of the lunatic asylum, but keeps seeing Clouseaua, which is threatening to send him over the edge again. The reason for this is that everyone thinks Clouseua is dead due to an identity mix-up and botched assassination attempt. Jacques goes undercover to find the people who tried to kill him, while Dreyfus is charged with finding the killers and bring them to justice - whereas he'd much rather congratulate them!  Simone Legree, private secretary to the millionaire who thinks he's succeeded in having Clouseaua killed, ends up helping him; after briefly turning his old boss' home into an exotic parlour, once he realises that the departed is not so departed after all, also aids in his quest.

The film lurches from one chaotic scene to another, ending up with a crazy chase scene in Hong Kong.  Dyan Cannon is good as Simone Legree, Peter Sellars is funny, Bert Kwok is funnier, but Herbert Lom steals the scene every time he's on screen - sadly not very often.  Revenge of the Pink Panther is like a compendium of the most stupid moments from all the previous films rolled into one, but it's done with a joyous abandon and lovely musical score by Henry Mancini, and it hits the funny bone more often than not.

Not high class cinema perhaps, but certainly a very enjoyable film (particularly if you're in a very silly mood at the time!).  The scene with Herbert Lom having to read a glowing eulogy of his hated colleague is classic.

CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog

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