The 11th film I have seen in theaters…
I love this series, and it went out on a good note.
Chief Inspector Dreyfus is on the case of Princess Yasmine of Lugash, who has been kidnapped by in a plot to get her father to vacate the throne. The kidnapping is witnessed by Jacques Gambrelli, a lowly police officer. The bad guys send assasins to kill Gambrelli, but his bumbling nature allows him to accidentally survive. Dreyfus notices something familiar about the young man and eventually discovers that Gambrelli is in fact the bastard son of his old nemesis Jacques Clouseau! Realizing that Clouseau was an idiot, he acknowledges that he was a very lucky idiot that always seemed to solve the case. Gambrelli ventures out, meets with Cato, and half asses his way to victory.
Roberto Benigni is Gambrelli/Clouseau. This was honestly the best casting they could have ever found. I was aware of this guy prior to this from Johnny Stecchino, one of the funniest mob movies ever made. He went on to make Il Monstro, also one of the funniest movies ever made, before hitting it big with “Life is Beautiful”. He seems to have quieted down, not directing a film since “La tigre e la neve”. I last saw him in Woody Allen’s fantastic “To Rome with Love”.
Herbet Lom is back as Dreyfus, my favorite character in the series. No more needs to be said. This guy was just as important to the series as Sellers. He passed in 2012 at age 95.
Claudia Cardinale plays Gambrelli’s mother, and love interest to Dreyfus. She was the princess in the original Pink Panther film. She is still around.
Burt Kwouk returns as Clouseau’s manservant Cato. This is another magical pieces of the formula. He was a victim of 2016, passing at age 85.
Rounding out the cast is Robert Davi, quintessential 80’s and 90’s villain. He was in License to Kill and Goonies, and frankly has never stopped performing. He was one of the best character actors/borderline leading men out there. He is still acting
This was not the best in the series. It is not very well regarded.I still adore it. It was the last “real” Panter film while Mancini and Edwards were still around. Steve Martin tried, but he is no Benigni or Sellers. I am so happy to have seen this on the big screen.