A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Clouseau is a real ladies' man -- and a man's man -- in this crazy comedy. The detective is propositioned by a drag performer and a transvestite in a gay night club. Early on a witness thinks Clouseau's performing a homosexual act when he's trying to give Dreyfus artificial respiration. Later a seductive spy has (non-explicit) sex with a man she falsely believes is Clouseau. Infatuated, she tries to get the crime-fighter into bed with her for the rest of the movie.
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What's the story?
In the previous film in the series (Return of the Pink Panther) Inspector Clouseau's former boss, Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), went insane because of his homicidal hatred of Clouseau. In this installment, he's about to be released from the asylum when a calamitous visit from Clouseau drives him to madness again. Dreyfus escapes, rounds up a criminal gang, gets millions from a bank robbery, buys a castle, transforms into a supervillain, and threatens to vaporize major cities with a death ray unless the nations of the world capture/kill Clouseau. Meanwhile the inspector is investigating the kidnapping of a scientist. After a hapless fracas in a gay bar, Clouseau heads to the Oktoberfest celebrations in Germany, where the world's best government assassins are out to kill him but wind up knocking each other off instead due to the hero's superhuman ineptitude. Clouseau will not be deterred from finding Dreyfus' lair.
Is it any good?
This is paws-down the zaniest of the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies, the closest they came to resembling the spinoff cartoons in their frantic gags. It's sheer comedic anarchy that goes gleefully over the top. Lom is a riot, and a perfect match for Peter Sellers here.
There is plenty here for kids and adults to laugh at, and the intrigue-filled plot resembles the later Austin Powers movies -- but with more old-school slapstick than Austin's raunchy, oft-distasteful bathroom humor. A lot of kids are awkward and fumbling and -- while they might not want to admit it -- might feel a lot like Clouseau sometimes, and you can talk with them about how they feel when nothing seems to be going right.
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