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Revenge of the Pink Panther
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's a streak of off-color humor running through the movie, with Inspector Clouseau tangled up with transvestites and even a whip-wielding dominatrix in a brothel. Clouseau is, as usual, racially insensitive towards his "little yellow" valet Cato Fong -- but in this one Cato kind of gets his revenge. Drug-smuggling is a key part of the plot, but no details about use and addiction are volunteered.
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What's the story?
In this installment of the series, former Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) is still in an asylum, having literally gone mad over his hatred for the clumsy Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers). Clouseau is now the chief inspector of Paris. When powerful gangster Douvier (Robert Webber) needs to convince his Mafia allies in America that he's tough enough to lead an international heroin-smuggling ring, he decides to assassinate Clouseau as a demonstration. Douvier's hit men spray Clouseau's car with bullets – or so they think. Douvier and the rest of the world believe Clouseau is dead -- and so does Dreyfus who immediately regains his sanity and his old job on the police force. Unfortunately, much of Dreyfus' duties, to his disgust, involve honoring and avenging the much-despised Clouseau. Meanwhile Clouseau goes undercover to solve the case. A racy extended sequence has Clouseau visiting his old apartment and discovers that in his absence his much-abused Asian manservant Cato (Burt Kwouk) has turned the place into an oriental-flavored house of prostitution.
Is it any good?
There are some howlingly funny moments in REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER, but also some draggy stretches, and it starts to repeat some gags from the previous movies. Still, there's enough big laughs here to keep Peter Sellers fans watching. And for those of you keeping score, is the one with Cato's funniest parts.
Some scenes just drag on repetitiously, as Clouseau finds an ally in Douvier's cast-off mistress (Dyan Cannon). Even a climactic chase through the streets of Hong Kong and an explosion in a fireworks warehouse seems to be borrowed from the first Pink Panther. When Clouseau impersonates a New York-style fat mob boss in The Godfather, you can kind of feel like the filmmakers are getting short on new ideas for the classic character and are falling back on an old standby -- making fun of other hit movies instead. But there are some great gags here, in fits, probably more so than other comedies offer in their entirety.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this movie ends just as Clouseau is starting to tell the story of the first mystery he ever solved, something about the disappearance of his aunt. It's frustrating -- you really want to hear him tell the whole story! What do you think Clouseau's first case was like?
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