Martin disappoints in ‘Pink Panther’

“The Pink Panther,” a popular movie series created by Blake Edwards in the early 1960s, was turned into a film that even he would be ashamed to witness firsthand.

Steve Martin, best known for playing dimwitted characters such as Navin Johnson in “The Jerk,” delivers another idiotic performance as he is cast as Inspector Clouseau, a part played in past “Panther” movies by Peter Sellers.

Co-written by Martin and Len Blum (“Private Parts”), the movie’s only connection with the TV show involves the pink diamond that goes missing in the film. The priceless pink diamond ring belongs to the manager of the French national soccer team, who sports it at a game and is killed.

After his death, the ring goes missing, leading to the case covered by Inspector Clouseau.

Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) uses the crime to his advantage in order to further his career and decides to find the most ‘incompetent’ cop in Paris to be in charge of the investigation.

He chooses Inspector Clouseau to investigate the missing diamond and to search for the murderer, but his intentions are to solve the case himself and become a national hero.

During a 90-minute period of repetitive mindless humor, tasteless gags and constant emphasis on Clouseau’s clumsiness, the only humorous aspect of the movie was when Closeau attempted to pronounce the word ‘hamburger.’ Many idiotic things are going on all at once, including a colliding bicyclist, furniture smashing and crashing, ineffective toilet humor and sexual innuendos.

These redundant, ridiculous events make up the majority of the movie, with only the last three minutes of the movie as a possible exception.

Beyonce Knowles’ role as the murdered soccer team’s manager’s pop- star girlfriend was futile except as scantily clad eye candy for the male audience.

Jean Reno (“Hotel Rwanda”) plays Clouseau’s sidekick, Ponton, who is forced to go along with his stupidity and at one point utters the words, “It was an honor serving with you, sir” to Clouseau, which is laughable considering how out of context it sounds. Reno deserves credit for his patience in withstanding Martin’s foolish character and the embarrassment of being cast in such a movie.

Emily Mortimer, who plays Clouseau’s loyal secretary Nicole, looks just as misplaced as the other actors, especially after a respectable role in the movie “Match Point.”

Clive Owen (“Closer”) also makes a brief and useless appearance as a faux James Bond. The actors exuded their humiliation through their characters in this motion picture and have to take these discreditable roles to their graves, but if they are lucky, the public will not be able to recall this forgettable film.

The actors who are not as well known (such as Reno and Mortimer) should be more selective in their future movie roles and refrain from taking roles such as these to better avoid career suicide.

Ten dollars are better off spent elsewhere than on this film and would also keep you from wasting your time.

A few people left the theatre before the movie ended, probably because they could not take the absurdity of the flick. The toilet humor and tasteless jokes could have easily amused children, but the ones I witnessed did not seem to find it humorous at all.

Thus, “The Pink Panther” was an unoriginal, brainless movie that falls flat and that you would be better off renting on an eventless evening.