Monday, December 12, 2005

Panther Pride

For those of you who are able to use Quicktime despite Apple's dubious "upgrades" and iTunes bundling, might I direct you to the new trailer for the Steve Martin remake of The Pink Panther?

I'm not saying that it's good, necessarily. In fact, from what I understand the buzz is rather negative, which is why the movie is coming out in February, when terrible movies come out, instead of in the summer, when terrible movies that people supposedly like come out.

Still, if you enjoy people falling down and getting hit with stuff, this trailer delivers in spades. Steve Martin and his stunt double/dummy crash to the ground from great heights with absurd force. Bicyclists tumble impressively. And Martin seems to have fun doing a ludicrous, over-the-top French accent with an admirable disregard for authenticity. It's a parody of an impression, two steps removed from any actual accent.

All this has a certain idiot slapstick purity to it that I respect. Either that or I'm appreciating it on some sort of meta-funny level where the jokes are so simple, so elemental, so basic and primal, that I'm enjoying them like minimalist art--single-line drawings of comedy, if you will.

I would not blame you if you said that this trailer was all that you could stand. But I would certainly choose this movie over Storegirl or Cheaper by the Two Dozen.

3 comments:

Simon said...

Good lord this film has been delayed a lot.
I swear I was a freshman when I read the first negative review.

Now I don't put too much stock in the opinion of readers, but anyway, perhaps it's worth mentioning that over the summer I read a script review of this at the production company I was working for. The reader was apparently a big fan of the originals and really disliked the script. The gist of the review was not that the film was horrible but that the Closeau character was totally wrong and not really enjoyable.

This was, of course, centuries ago, and the reviewer suggested that perhaps Steve Martin would fix the script himself at the last minute (which he has apparently done with a few of his recent bigtime commercial films like bringing down the house).

Still, when a film just sort of gets dumped on the public in the middle of february, that doesn't say good things.

Kenny said...

I have no doubt that the character is a complete betrayal of Sellers' version. I try to look at it as an absurd slapstick Steve Martin movie in the vein of The Jerk, as opposed to something in the spirit of the originals (though it is worth noting that aside from Clouseau, who has only a small supporting role, the first Pink Panther movie is pretty dull).

But there is no reason it should be like Sellers' Clouseau--in fact, the closer it is, the more Martin's new version will pale in comparison. Accepting that doing a pointless remake rather than creating an original character is a given, it's better for Martin to make it his own. And I thought I had read somewhere that he was involved with the script in some capacity.

I wonder if the delays included any reshoots.

Anonymous said...

I'm jsut happy steve Martin will be playing a funny character, rather than the straight man/dad/repressed white guy to other people's wacky hijinks. I also really enjoyed the accent, Kenny.

-Sean