The Pink Panther has once again been stolen and once again, it’s up to Inspector Clouseau to find the culprit! If that sounds rehashed, that’s because it is. It had to be, since Clouseau (or at least the man who brought him to life in the previous films) was dead.
It’s hard to examine the plot of the film as it is cobbled together from deleted scenes from the previous Pink Panther films. Instead of truly investigating the theft, Clouseau immediately heads out after The Phantom, moving from one badly juxtaposed scene into the next, changing age (and fashion) repeatedly, with awkward transitions when Blake Edwards couldn’t find a way to get from one scene to the next. At one point, Clouseau detours to London apparently for no other reason than there was footage of him there that they could use. Things get worse from there.
Finally (mercifully) running out of old cutting room material to use, the second half of the film becomes a reporter’s efforts to track down Clouseau, whose plane went down. Actors from previous films come together to remember Clouseau, opening the door for a long series of narrated flashbacks before the film comes to a halt with no real ending.
While this movie failed miserably as a film, one should remember that it was really meant more as a tribute to Peter Sellers, a final remembrance following his death. How well did it succeed at that? Sellers’ widow successfully sued the film makers following the movie’s release.