A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie has frequent and off-putting violence, more evocative of a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean-Claude Van Damme than Inspector Clouseau. There's some sex talk, but it stays within PG confines.
What's the story?
SON OF THE PINK PANTHER is set mostly in the mythical Islamic nation of Lugash -- the place where the oft-stolen Pink Panther diamond is a sacred relic. Princess Yasmin (Debrah Farentino), the beautiful, American-educated, kung-fu-fighting daughter of the king, is seized by a terroristic gang in a scheme to force her father to give up the throne. By chance the kidnappers cross paths with France's Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), the old boss of the legendary Inspector Clouseau, and a disaster-prone bicycle cop named Jacques Gambrelli (Roberto Benigni). Only Gambrelli gets a good look at the unconscious princess, which automatically puts him on the case. We learn that the cop's mother (Claudia Cardinale) confirms that she had a single sexual liason with the great Inspector Clouseau, and Jacques is the result. Even though Dreyfus hated the idiotic Clouseau and tried several times to kill him, the chief seems to have mellowed, and he believes that Gambrelli, like his late father, can foil the bad guys through sheer superhuman luck. Lugash Secret Service agents (and Clouseau's old servant Cato) often come to Gambrelli's aid, amidst a lot of gunfire, chases and fights.
Is it any good?
The plot seems awfully long and noisy, and the Schwarzeneggerean-scale action scenes are seem far less fun and slapstick-inspired than the mayhem in previous Pink Panther installments. Benigni does have one or two enjoyable scenes (especially one in which, disguised as a doctor, he accidentally injects himself repeatedly with novocaine), but young viewers who might potentially like him might also find him offscreen too much of the time, or dwarfed by the tumult. Gambrelli does have the virtues of being brave and chivalrous, and maybe a better script might have done something interesting with his poetry-reading character. But at this point it's really better to watch the Pink Panther classics.
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