Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Revenge of the Pink Panther</strong> (1978)

(In French, On TV, February 2019) OK, world, I admit it. Revenge of the Pink Panther has pushed me over the edge, and it forces my hand. I have to come clean, even if you’ve seen it coming from the hints I’ve left all over the place. Are you ready? Here goes: I’m not that much of a Peter Sellers/Inspecteur Clouzeau fan. I have accumulated enough data points by now to realize that I like the original The Pink Panther best because Clouzot is a support player to Niven/Cardinale/Capucine. By this sixth entry in the series, Sellers/Clouzeau has become an all-engulfing, all-self-indulgent ego monster around which the entire series revolved. The plot revolves around him (it’s all about attempts to kill him, something that director Blake Edwards must have had on his mind at the time), the direction puts him centre stage and the editing can’t bear to cut away from his antics. The silly story hits many familiar plot points in the series, and can’t stand still by going from England to France to Hong Kong. While the budget is obviously bigger than previous instalments and there are a few comic moments along the way, the constant bumbling, perplexing fixation on costuming, graceless stumbling upon the truth, have become more grating than amusing—and that applies equally to the criminal and the romantic plot. Revenge of the Pink Panther was the last of the six “main” Pink Panther movies, and it clearly shows the reasons why it was quickly running out of steam by that point. Or maybe even at any point past the first movie.

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