Saturday, February 11, 2006

It's Not the Original

The lack of ingenuity and creativity within current filmaking is sometimes good and sometimes bad, depending on the film. The number of re-makes in the last 20 years is astounding. Certain re-makes were a bust (i.e. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) others were a smash hit (i.e. The Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong, & Pride and Prejudice). Pressing its way through the crowd of modern copies is the newly released Pink Panther.

I was a huge fan of the original films. The slap-stick and sheer comic wit of this version made it a favorite among movies I enjoy. In the newly released version Peter Sellers is replaced with comic genius Steve Martin. As I anticipated the arrival of the movie to the big screen (released Friday) I watched every commercial with excitement. Well after having finally seen the film I am now prepared to give a brief commentary.

Martin does a fantastic job with echoing the clumsiness of Inspector Clouseau, which was done so wonderfully by Sellers in the 1964 version. There are moments in the film that are by far some of the most hilarious bits I have seen in quite sometime. Martin pulls them off flawlessly. But inspite of this there were a few let downs: (1) There is no Kato, and (2) the use of sexual innuendos.

The latter of these two faults is more significant. On repeated occasions within the film Clouseau is engaged in some act which from an onlooker appears to be some sort of sexual activity. The seeming "need" for modern films to include sexual innuendo into every movie is only evidence of the lack of intelligent writing. Neither scene was worth much more than a cheap laugh. Good comedy, however, can sell its audience on slap-stick without reverting to the cheap and tawdry. So my final conclusion, I suppose, is that the film has moments that are so well crafted that it seems like a fresh of breath air in modern cinema, but in the end it still has a long way to go to pass or even meet the standard of the original.


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