Many people in our society are concerned with zombies and whether or not the dead could "come back to life" and eat our brains. The large proliferation of zombie movies, including any and all movies that are concerned with the undead, reanimated corpses, rabid plague victims and so forth demonstrates that the thought of the dead coming back to life is on the minds of millions of people on this planet.
That said, Peter Sellers is going to come back to life in the very near future. He is going to have superhuman strength, special zombie abilities, and he is going to have a real bitch on.
The effort to revive the Pink Panther movies started a couple of years ago by making a movie they had the audacity to call The Pink Panther. I had hoped that the fact the movie flopped would put an end to this horror. Now they are making a follow up to what is arguably the worst movie of all time and they are calling it The Pink Panther 2. As if it wasn't bad enough they have made this movie to begin with, calling it "2" implies a complete disrespect for the real Pink Panther movies, since if it is supposed to be part of the series it is actually the eleventh movie in the series. Had they been clever at all they could have called it The Pink Panther II and made it look like they could be Roman Numerals on one hand or an "11" on the other hand. No one is that clever. Not anymore.
We all know that Steve Martin has become a horrible, horrible man who threw away what was once arguable a promising career in comedy to make a collection of middle of the road family comedies and a lot of lackluster sequels to those middle of the road family comedies. Somewhere in the middle of filming Cheaper By The Dozen 6 someone must have approached him with an idea...
"Steve, there is a lot of money to be made in rehashing old television shows on the big screen and remaking movies that have already been made. We were thinking of trying to revive the Pink Panther franchise but we couldn't think of anyone brilliant and funny enough to play Inspector Clouseau... and then we thought of you."
This sort of thing was attempted quite a while ago. In fact it was attempted twice, more or less, but at least the other principals were involved, including writer and director Blake Edwards. Those movies were called Trail of the Pink Panther and Son of the Pink Panther. They were weak attempts to keep the original franchise alive without Peter Sellers, which was pretty much a bad idea at the time and even worse in retrospect.
As a lifelong fan of Peter Sellers, someone I credit with molding and influencing my efforts at writing comedy when I was younger, I shook my head when I saw they were doing the first remake of Pink Panther with Steve Martin. I couldn't imagine anyone worse to have in the starring role. And this wasn't because Steve Martin wasn't funny or couldn't act. It was because he was completely wrong for the role. Part of the magic of Inspector Clouseau was that he had a very understated means of slapstick comedy. Even in the most outrageously insane sequences, Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau would somehow remain unaffected and... well, there is no right word for it because if anyone knew the word for it then they could be Peter Sellers. There was a genius to it. Steve Martin is flamboyant and attention seeking... at all times. He is completely unable to play a scene with subtlety and restraint. This is completely inconsistent with the Clouseau character.
I saw the first Steve Martin attempt at being Inspector Clouseau after it was released on DVD. Actually, I only saw about forty-five minutes of it before I became physically ill and had to turn it off and burn the DVD. It was the most horrible thing I had ever seen on video. The three hour videotape of my friend Doug's honeymoon cruise was far more enjoyable and their camera was out of focus and there was a terrible buzzing sound you couldn't hear anyone talking over. So, I feel comfortable talking about this sequel to that movie without ever seeing it. Yes, much like the religious right I am damning something without having seen it and in this case I feel quite comfortable doing that.
What is really horrific here is the other people that have agreed to be in this film, most of whom shouldn't be that desperate for a paycheck. I guess Andy Garcia has become a complete whore based on his filmography of the past few years and John Cleese has become the new Richard Harris, the Englishman you just have to call to get in your movie. It is the appearance of respected actors Jeremy Irons and Alfred Molina that really gets me. Unfortunately they will be dead along with Steve Martin when Peter Sellers' reanimated corpse attacks.
They could have called him the cousin of Jacques Clouseau or his nephew or some sort of relation, but in today's movie making climate it seems you cannot make an offshoot, you have to do a complete remake and when more than half the movies being made out there this decade seem to be remakes of something, the profit margin figures a new Inspector Jacques Clouseau will make more money than Inspector Claude Clouseau. And Claude would have made a good name for the character in today's culture. "Claude" sounds like "Clod" and that is all Steve Martin's interpretation of this character really is. That is all it was in his first effort and I seriously doubt anything has changed in this follow up.