The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)

THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN (1976)
Article 4484 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-24-2014
Directed by Blake Edwards
Featuring Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Lesley-Anne Down
Country: UK / USA
What it is: Pink Panther movie

Former inspector Dreyfus, having been driven mad by his encounters with Inspector Clouseau, escapes from the asylum, and hatches a scheme to hold the world for ransom against the sweep of a deadly death ray. The price the world must pay for its survival – kill Clouseau.

This is probably the only movie from the Pink Panther series that I will be covering in my series, as it seems to be the only one with overt fantastic content. This is not to say that I don’t already have a certain familiarity with the character of Inspector Clouseau and the world he lives in; I’m pretty sure I’ve seen all of Pink Panther movies at one time or another, though I should probably restrict that statement to those that feature Sellers. I do have to confess, though, that with one exception (A SHOT IN THE DARK), I emerge from the movies feeling somewhat disappointed. It has nothing to do with the performances of Peter Sellers or Herbert Lom, both of whom are excellent in their respective roles. No, the problem I usually have is with the scripts; I generally find them overlong, full of dead space, and too leisurely paced. It’s not that the laughs aren’t there; it’s more that there aren’t quite enough of them. In this one, it seems like there’s a certain attempt at a James Bond feel here, what with a Dreyfus turning into a supervillain and an ex-Russian spy falling for Clouseau, but it never really turns into an overt parody. My favorite laugh is from the gag I most remember from my earlier viewing; it involves a dropped roll of toilet paper. All in all, I’d say it’s a good movie that should have been better.

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