The Pink Panther (2006 film)
|The Pink Panther|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Shawn Levy|
|Produced by||Robert Simonds|
|Based on||The Pink Panther
by Blake Edwards
|Box office||$158.9 million|
The Pink Panther is a 2006 American comedy film and a reboot of The Pink Panther franchise, marking the tenth installment in the series. In this film, Inspector Jacques Clouseau is assigned to solve the murder of a famous soccer coach and the theft of the famous Pink Panther diamond. The film stars Steve Martin as Clouseau and also co-stars Kevin Kline, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer and Beyoncé Knowles.
The film grossed $158.9 million worldwide. The Pink Panther was theatrically released on February 10, 2006, and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 13, 2006. A sequel was released on February 6, 2009.
Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus narrates a flashback of a soccer match between France and China. French coach Yves Gluant enters the stadium, wearing the Pink Panther diamond ring. He kisses his girlfriend, pop star Xania, and whispers something to her. After France wins the game in sudden death, Gluant is killed by a poison dart, with the Pink Panther nowhere to be found. Eager to win the Medal of Honour, Dreyfus promotes a clumsy small-town policeman and "village idiot", Jacques Clouseau, to the rank of Inspector and assigns him to the Pink Panther case. Dreyfus simultaneously assembles a secret team of top investigators to crack the case, allowing Clouseau to serve as the public face of the investigation and draw all the media attention. Dreyfus assigns Gilbert Ponton to be Clouseau's assistant, instructing him to keep him informed of Clouseau's actions. Despite his orders, Ponton quickly becomes friends with Clouseau.
Bizu, a French soccer player who had an affair with Xania and therefore is the prime suspect in Gluant's murder, is shot in the head and killed in the team's locker room. While at a casino to gain information, Clouseau encounters British Agent 006, Nigel Boswell. Boswell foils a robbery at the casino by the "Gas-Mask Bandits", using Clouseau's trench coat to hide his identity. Clouseau mistakenly receives credit for the deed and is subsequently nominated for the Medal of Honour, much to Dreyfus' dismay.
Clouseau follows Xania to New York City, suspecting that she knows more than she is telling. However, despite Ponton's insistence that she is most likely a suspect because Gluant cheated on her, Clouseau decides Xania is innocent. While in New York, Clouseau and Ponton eat hamburgers from McDonald's, and Clouseau discovers his love for the sandwich, which he had assumed to be nothing more than "disgusting American food". Meanwhile, because the poison that killed Gluant was derived from Chinese herbs, Dreyfus concludes that the killer is a Chinese envoy named Dr. Pang. Ready to take charge of the case and win the Medal of Honour, Dreyfus has one of his officers switch Clouseau's bag with one full of weapons at the airport. The bag sets off the metal detector at the security checkpoint, causing the guards to be suspicious of Clouseau who is eventually arrested because of his inability to pronounce "hamburger" correctly, as he tried to smuggle some for the trip back. Upon his return to France, the press vilifies him and Dreyfus strips him of his rank of Inspector. Dreyfus now plots to publicly arrest Dr. Pang at the Presidential Ball, where Xania will also be performing.
Clouseau returns home and happens to see an article about his arrest online. He deduces from the photograph in it that the assassin will target Xania next, and he contacts Ponton. The two rush to the Élysée Palace and sneak into the Presidential Ball. While Dreyfus publicly arrests Dr. Pang for double murder, Clouseau and Ponton save Xania's life by capturing her would-be assassin Yuri, the soccer team's trainer. Jealous of Gluant, Yuri used his knowledge of Chinese herbs, mandated by a Russian military statute, to kill him. After overhearing Yuri's rants, Bizu blackmailed him, so Yuri killed Bizu. Yuri targeted Xania because she ignored him while she dated Gluant. Clouseau reveals the Pink Panther was not stolen but instead sewn into the lining of Xania's purse. He discovered this after the photograph of his arrest also showed an X-ray of the purse going through airport security. Xania confessed that she received it from Gluant as an engagement ring — he had whispered his proposal to her prior to the match against China — but she hid it because she thought it could implicate her as the killer. Clouseau concludes that Xania is the ring's rightful owner, while Yuri is taken into custody.
For successfully solving the case, Clouseau wins the Medal of Honour. While leaving the ceremony with Ponton, Clouseau gets Dreyfus's suit caught in his car door; he remains oblivious to Dreyfus's screams as he drives away. Clouseau and Ponton later visit him in the hospital. After Clouseau wishes him well, he accidentally releases the brake on Dreyfus's bed; the bed races through the hospital and throws Dreyfus into the Seine, and he shouts Clouseau's name in anger as he takes the plunge into the river.
- Steve Martin as Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a bumbling police officer from a small village in France.
- Kevin Kline as Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus, the head of the French police who is obsessed with winning the Medal of Honour.
- Jean Reno as Gendarme Gilbert Ponton, a capable police officer who is assigned to report to Dreyfus on Clouseau's actions.
- Emily Mortimer as Nicole Durant, a secretary and romance interest of Clouseau.
- Henry Czerny as Yuri, the Russian trainer for the fictionalized version of the France national football team.
- Kristin Chenoweth as Cherie, an employee of the France national football team.
- Roger Rees as Raymond Laroque, a wealthy casino owner and friend of Yves Gluant.
- Beyoncé Knowles as Xania, a famous pop singer and girlfriend of Gluant.
- William Abadie as Bizu, a player for the France national football team
- Scott Adkins as Jacquard, another player for the France national football team
- Jean Dell as Justice Minister Clochard
- Anna Katarina as Agent Corbeille
- Alice Taglioni as Female Reporter
- Kristi Angus as Mysterious Woman
- Chelah Horsdal as Security Guard
- Delphine Chanéac as Ticket Checker (as Délphine Chaneac)
- Yvonne Sciò as Casino Waitress
- Charlotte Maier as Dialect Coach
- Jason Statham as Yves Gluant (uncredited), the head coach of the France national football team whose murder is under investigation.
- Clive Owen as Nigel Boswell/Agent 006 (uncredited), a secret agent and parody of James Bond.
- Paul Korda as Pierre Fuquette (uncredited), a man thought to be murdered, until Clouseau finds him alive and well.
Jackie Chan was originally offered the part of Clouseau's manservant, Cato Fong, but turned it down due to his perceived political incorrectness. Gilbert Ponton serves as Cato's stand-in.
A re-collaboration between Steve Martin and producer Robert Simonds, the successful teaming behind Cheaper by the Dozen, The Pink Panther had a production budget of US$80 million. Filming began on May 10, 2004. The film was originally supposed to seek an August 5, 2005 release date, but was then pushed forward to February 10, 2006 because of Sony. "With the recent acquisition of MGM, we wanted to give our marketing department the time and opportunity to launch this very important franchise," Sony Pictures Releasing president Rory Bruer said. "We've seen the movie, and we really love this film. It's a franchise we believe in and are really excited about, and Steve Martin is great as Clouseau."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 22% based on 139 reviews and an average rating of 4.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Though Steve Martin is game, the particulars of the Inspector Clouseau character elude him in this middling update." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 38 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
The Pink Panther opened at #1 in the United States, grossing $20.2 million from 3,477 theaters, and took in an additional $20.9 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend the following weekend. The film closed in US theaters on April 16, 2006, having grossed $82.2 million in its ten weeks of release. Overseas, the film took $76.6 million, resulting in total box office gross revenue of $158.9 million. US screenings made up 51.8% of box office takings, with international viewings responsible for 48.2%. The Pink Panther is the highest-grossing film in the Pink Panther franchise.
The Pink Panther was released for home viewing on June 13, 2006, and sold 693,588 DVD copies, worth $9,391,182. To date the film has sold 1,579,116 copies—$23,216,770 of consumer spending.
Christophe Beck is credited with the film score which was released as the soundtrack album The Pink Panther about one month following the release of the film. Singer Beyoncé Knowles performed two songs for the film, "A Woman Like Me" and U.S. number-one hit, "Check on It". The latter serves as the film's theme song aside from the Pink Panther theme.
The sequel to this film, titled The Pink Panther 2, was released on February 6, 2009. It again features Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau and Jean Reno as Gendarme Ponton, but was notable for having John Cleese as Dreyfus instead of Kevin Kline. Beyonce Knowles also did not return for the sequel. The film features Clouseau and a "Dream Team" of the world's best detectives formed to catch the international mastermind thief El Tornado, who has stolen several valuable treasures, including the Shroud of Turin, the Pope's Ring and the Pink Panther diamond. The film grossed $75,946,615 at the box office.
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