director Blake Edwards
As a kid, The Pink Panther Strikes Again was my favorite Inspector Clouseau movie. My friends, family, we all loved The Pink Panther movies, Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, we also loved the Pink Panther cartoons and the Ant and the Aardvark. In my world, not just in my childhood opinion, Clouseau was the pinnacle of comedy.
I even think I have the vague recollection of seeing this at a drive-in movie.
It’s easy to see why this would have been my favorite.
The film begins with former Chief Inspector Dreyfus (the fantastic Mr. Lom) in an asylum, having lost his mind due to the bumbling chaos that is Clouseau. And upon Clouseau triggering a regression and nixing his recovery, Dreyfus breaks out and founds a criminal superpower group with the sole intention of killing Clouseau. He kidnaps a scientist and his daughter and has him build a “doomsday device” with which he threatens the world. He hires assassins from all over the world to kill Clouseau.
But of course, Clouseau is unkillable. He’s cluelessly genius at escaping situations and the broad, slapstick humor in the hands of Blake Edwards and team reaches many moments of great humor.
I watched this with my kids, their first introduction to the series, on a rainy afternoon. I think they found it amusing. Certainly not laugh-out-loud amusing. And I’ll be honest, even the funniest bits that I recall being twisted over in laughter during as a kid, merely provoked smiles and reminiscence today.
And so, it’s hard to put a star rating on this. Hard to easily quantify my exact feelings. But it will ever have its place in my heart nonetheless.