Starring: Peter Sellers, David Niven, Herbert Lom, Richard Mulligan, Joanna Lumley, and Capucine.
Directed by: Blake Edwards.
Released: December 17th, 1982.
The seventh film in the Pink Panther franchise, following Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), marks the the first lowest point of the whole series (the most recent being Beyonce Knowles, but that’s a different story for a different film review). It’s also the last film that starred Peter Sellers in the titular role of Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Sadly, he died prior to the production so therefore he couldn’t stop this turd from getting made. Sellers’ performance here pretty much consists of out-takes from the other Pink Panther films and flashback bits. Following Sellers’ death, you would think they’d come to terms and conclude there’s no way to continue on with this (with the exception of what they released in 2006), but no, they saw money in their eyes and went ahead with something stupid anyway.
The Pink Panther diamond is stolen… again. Inspector Clouseau is once again called in to solve this mystery, and his superior Dreyfus isn’t too happy about this arrangement… again. It turns out that this time, Clouseau is being tailed by the mob, headed by Bruno Langlois (Robert Loggia). Clouseau is only in the film for the first forty minutes or so and then he mysteriously vanishes, supposedly dying in a plane crash over the ocean. The rest of the film follows a journalist (Joanna Lumley) whom investigates his disappearance. We’re then treated to a series of interviews with characters like Dreyfus, Cato, and even Clouseau’s very own father at one point.
Trail of the Pink Panther offers nothing new to the series, other than a couple funny out-takes of Sellers (most notably one involving a bathroom on an airplane), therefore it had no reason to be made. Tribute? Sure, right, whatever you say. This was one poor heck of a tribute if you ask me, badly pieced together at best. If you really wanted to do a tribute, just release a Pink Panther documentary with interviews and the whole nine yards. Was it really necessary to come up with an actual script and plot for all this? Aside from Sellers, the only other person that makes this film worthwhile is Herbert Lom as Dreyfus who still works wonders in the role to this day. There’s quite a few hilarious sequences involving him and his frustrations, from a blood pressure cuff to a nightmare involving Jello.
Now, if I’m not mistaken, there were about two or three additional Pink Panther sequels following this one plus a stupid remake and another stupid sequel as well. With that being said, are those movies also “tributes”!?