It's not that The Pink Panther is a bad comedy, it is that it is not as good as it could have been. The Pink Panther with comic genius Steve Martin is a good second rental comedy DVD but no more. Steve Martin is good enough to make you forget the late Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau, Jean Reno is great as Clouseau's sidekick Ponton, Kevin Kline is good as Inspector Dreyfus, but the writing is below par in this comedy and director Shawn Levy is basically a kleumzy oeuf. This is yet another less than stellar Hollywood remake of a classic comedy.
If you watch the special features on the Pink Panther DVD you will immediately see what this movie's biggest problem is. One of the extra features is the original animated sequence by Nexus. This is a gorgeous, sophisticated 3-D Pink Panther cartoon that is far superior to the rather banal opening to this comedy. Unfortunately, the studio bozos decided this was far too sophisticated for whom they thought was the audience for this movie: children. This explains the various fart jokes, cliché bit of two men sharing a motel bedroom, and other banal not so comic anymore bits we have all seen in countless movies before. It also explains the presence of Beyonce Knowles who plays, gasp!, a singer and the obligatory song number or two which are mercifully cut short
The Pink Panther has a good story to work with. The Pink Panther diamond is stolen when a French soccer coach is killed after a victory. Dreyfus promotes Clouseau to inspector to distract he media while he investigates the crime in pursuit of the elusive Legion d'Honneur. There are some good comedic bits here like Clouseau parking his Smart car (although there is a continuity error in the scene itself with the bumper the car he backed into being reattached to it when Clouseau goes up the stairs of the gendarmerie) and the costumes Ponton and Clouseau wear to get into the presidential ball. The best bit involves a comedic nod to the James Bond movies with the presence of agent 006 "one number shy of the big time".
Overall, this is you basic second rental on movie night. The language bits are not that good, some scenes are basically your basic not sure what to do with the gag so let's just do what every other comedy movie did before, and even at 92 minutes the movie seems to drag on a bit.