My fondest memory of Blake Edwards’ original Pink Panther series was Peter Sellers muttering “I have zee boom” as the fuse on the explosive device he possessed burned to its nub. Without fail, the comedian’s deadpan delivery and subsequent explosion would send my father and me into hysterics. I’m glad dad’s not around to witness this new Panther, Shawn Levy’s clueless update of the beloved crime comedies. It seems the bomb now rests in our hands.
Edwards directed eight Panther movies, most of which were blessed with Sellers’ presence and timing. As the series deteriorated over time, stand-ins were recruited to shoulder the slapstick, so audiences endured the comedic stylings of Ted Wass (Curse of the Pink Panther) or Roberto Benigni (Son of the Pink Panther, the franchise’s lowest point).
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