(Review originally written at 3 May 2008)
The previous Pink Panther movie entry "Trail of the Pink Panther" already wasn't what you could call something successful but this movie, that was shot at the same time as this previously mentioned movie, is even worse comedy-wise, story-wise and whatever more wise.
This movie was obviously intended as an attempt to put new life into the Pink Panther series, after the death of Peter Sellers in 1980. The movie picks a new main character but keeps the same cast and crew of the previous more successful and better Pink Panther movies. So basically it's made in the same way as those other successful earlier Pink Panther movies but never does this movie work out as good as any other Pink Panther movie and it also is definitely the worst out of the long running series of movies.
Problem is that this movie really doesn't follow a script. Appereantly there is a main plot-line involving the Pink Panther again and Clouseau who is presumed missing. A New York cop is brought in to try and find Clouseau by picking up his trail he was on while investigation the disappearance of the Pink Panther. It basically starts off were "Trail of the Pink Panther" had ended, making this a direct sequel.
Don't be fooled by this movie its cast list people. Basically everywhere Ted Wass is listed somewhere like the 10th actor but he really actually plays the main lead within this movie. Actors such as David Niven, Robert Wagner, Robert Loggia and Burt Kwouk who are all listed higher are in it for like 10 minutes maximum. The reason they must have put David Niven on top of the billing must be done for commercial reasons or perhaps they were just being kind for him, knowing already how terminally ill at the time of making this movie he was. They even had to dub his voice, since he wasn't able to speak up good enough anymore. This was also the last movie he appeared in before his death.
So main lead is Ted Wass. Who? Exactly! He is one big nobody, without a real talent for acting or comedy. What was Blake Edwards when he casted him? Was he seriously thinking this would be the man that would be able to make us forget Peter Sellers? He is the type of actor that needs screaming and big surprised eyes to come across as being funny. He's too forced in his acting. Also his character is supposed to be like the American version of Clouseau but instead of being clumsy or stupid, he more comes across as a victim of unlikely circumstances. He never really gets himself into trouble because of his own stupidity like Clouseau always did.
It just isn't a very funny or well made movie. It tries to follow a story but it just looks as if the movie simply doesn't bother sticking to it. Appereantly it's about the search for Clouseau but really, does he ever seriously attempt looking for him? He just randomly questions people and travels around the world.
To me the movie gets still somewhat saved by the Roger Moore cameo. He actually shows that he has a great talent for comedy and actually would had been a worthy new Chief Insp. Jacques Clouseau for future movies in my opinion. Oh well, he probably was too expensive at the time to cast him for further Pink Panther, plus he of course at the time was still committed to playing James Bond, so no way they would had allowed him to play a different 'cop' in a different comedy movie series. Also the presence of Herbert Lom and Burt Kwouk and other Pink Panther regulars, as well as the immortal Henry Mancini musical score compensate somewhat for the movie its totally inapt to entertaining or be funny.