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The Return 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 Clouseau addresses his Asian manservant Cato in racially-condescending terms ("my little yellow friend"), and that the movie's ostensible "good guy" (apart from Clouseau) is a charming career thief who's not above intimidating a weasel supporting character via torture. There is gunplay for comic effect.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
Despite high-tech security, the fabulous Pink Panther diamond is stolen by a masked cat burglar from a gallery in the mythical Mideast country of Lugash. France's Inspector Jacques Clouseau is summoned to recover the gem. This is a career boost for the disaster-prone Clouseau, demoted to patrolling the streets of Paris by Chief Inspector Dreyfus, who ultimately fires him for his perpetual incompetence. Reinstated, Clouseau sets out after his old nemesis Sir Charles, and is tricked by the aristocrat's fun-loving wife Claudine to follow her to a Swiss ski resort. Meanwhile, Sir Charles claims he's retired from larceny and doesn't know where the Pink Panther is. He tries to prove his innocence by catching the real thief.
Is it any good?
At times it seems like we're watching two different movies; wild slapstick with Clouseau, more grown-up adventure/intrigue with Sir Charles. This was the first time in ten years that Peter Sellers had reprised his hit 1960s role as the klutzy French police detective Jacques Clouseau, but the title is more literal than that, as Clouseau is once again tangling with the nefarious thief Sir Charles Lytton, alias `The Phantom,' from the original PINK PANTHER.
But it's Sellers' mastery of characterization that makes Clouseau work. He's a bumbling oaf but conceitedly believes in himself as a cool crimefighter and master of disguise -- and good fortune seems to conspire to indeed make Clouseau look like a super-sleuth in the end, sending Dreyfus into a homicidal rage. Even though director Blake Edwards shows other characters (not Dreyfus, of course) laughing at Clouseau, a supposed violation of screen comedy's most sacred rule, it's still a riot.
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