There's an uneasy feeling that comes with watching someone try to redo (or "reimagine," as the studio would tell us) a classic. Peter Sellers was and forever will be Inspector Clouseau--that's never going to change, no matter how well Steve Martin does. The fact that the original director, Blake Edwards, whose deft hand at comedy gave us many Panther flicks, now gives way to Shawn Levy, whose creative triumph is Cheaper by the Dozen, tells you a lot as well.
In this one, the bumbling Clouseau is trying to solve a case of a missing priceless diamond ring, stolen off a dead soccer player. Kevin Kline is Clouseau's boss, and the role feels like a quick paycheck and nothing more. Beyoncé Knowles adds some sex appeal, but it's not nearly enough to keep us interested. Hollywood mistakenly believes we, as adults, want to see cultural memories of our childhood revisited, but in reality, all it does is make us yearn for the original. And for anyone too young to have seen Sellers as Clouseau, rent the DVD. Seeing this remake instead, now that would be a crime.
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