Andrew Branca

MOVIE REVIEW

“Pink Panther”

I like Steve Martin. He is a really funny guy who makes me laugh every time that I see him up on the big screen. From “The Jerk” to “Bringing Down the House” I always seem to walk away with a smile on my face.

However Steve Martin is no Peter Sellers when it comes to playing the role of inspector Jacques Clouseau. Playing second fiddle to a comedy legend like Sellers is a hard task but Martin does so with that natural talent that was first revealed to the world on “Saturday Night Live.”

Recently released, “The Pink Panther Two” surrounds the bumbling nature of one the French police force’s finest, inspector Jacques Clouseau, who’s an accident waiting for a place to happen.

He is working with a group of detectives called “The Dream Team” to solve a rash of thefts that has circled the globe.

The priceless objects that have been stolen can’t be pawned because of what they are, including the Magna Carta and the pope’s ring.

The thief in this film, referred to as “The Tornado,” also swipes the Pink Panther diamond Clouseau recovered in the previous film.

The bumbling nature is carried on by the different situations that Clouseau places himself in and doesn’t disappoint audiences for laughs.

When the team of detectives goes to Rome to visit the pope about the recent theft of his ring, Clouseau decides it would be good to reenact the crime.

Dressing up as the pope, he steps onto the balcony and proceeds to go over the edge, terrifying members of the crowd below in the square.

In another funny set of circumstances, he is doing surveillance inside of a restaurant but proceeds to set the entire structure on fire, after dressing up as a Spanish dancer.

The film is rated PG for some suggestive humor, brief mild language and action.

Unlike other films that are out in theaters, the Pink Panther provides enough laughs that you will be talking about it on the ride home.

It’s one of those films you could bring your entire family to and not have to worry about scenes involving nudity.

“Underworld”

Apart from a complicated plot that is very difficult to understand, the second thing that I hate the most is prequels.

Why you might ask do I dislike them so much?

Well I dislike them for the simple fact that you know where the story is going to end before the beginning credits start to roll across the screen.

That was how I felt when I when and saw “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.”

Prequels are made because the other films in the series were so successful. Film companies make them because they have the desire to squeeze another few drops of cash out of that orange before the tree dies from lack of interest in the subject. 

A great example of how prequels can ruin a film series is episodes one, two and three of the Star Wars franchise. Thanks to George Lucas for creating Jar Jar Binks and using way too much computer animation. Kudos, George.

The plot of “Rise of the Lycans” centers on how the feud began between the vampires and lycans. The lycans, who were created by vampires as protection against werewolves, were treated as slaves and kept in cages and chains. As a hybrid of human and werewolf genetics, lycans can shape shift between both forms easily.

“Rise of the Lycans” is the second film directed by French director Patrick Tatopoulos, whose previous experience in directing was a short film, “Bird of Passage,” in 2000. Before that, he worked in special effects for films like “I am Legend,” “10,000 BC,” “Pitch Black” and “I, Robot.”

Tatopulos really needs to stick to working behind the camera instead of directing. Postproduction, art and the special effects department are where he really shines in the realm of filmmaking and Hollywood.

The film’s plot centers around the love between Lucian (Michael Sheen) who is a lycan, and Sonja (Rhona Mitra) who is a vampire. All and in all, the whole “Romeo and Juliet” plot does not really work. It gets bogged down with the forbidden love that the two share and the lycans’ quest for freedom from their tormentors. It doesn’t mesh well.

The film is rated R for bloody violence and some sexuality. So if you’re looking for something to do for a few hours then by all means spend that $7 on a lukewarm film. It might quench your thirst for awhile, but you will be looking for something much more satisfying later.

E-mail Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com