As I was watching this I just kept thinking; Peter Sellers is so much better than this. I agree w/ Chris, bird poop and nudist colony jokes in any era are lame as fuck. To say "you have to place it during its time" is like someone saying Al Jolson doing blackface was funny during its time. The opening scene while flawlessly choreographed, is simply not funny.
The film is funny in a simple, old-fashioned kind of way, and I think that the beauty of that sort of humour is the fact that it never gets old! Times may have changed and we may have grown older, but there's still nothing like these simplistic, innocent comedy films. And Peter Sellers is fantastic.
After 30 years of edgier and sometimes R rated comedy such as Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, A Fish Called Wanda, Clerks, There's Something About Mary, American Pie, and of course The Hangover, the early Pink Panther films are too innocent for today's audiences. The humor is dated. Do we laugh at bird poop anymore? Is the nudist colony scene funny in the age of The Hangover? See my point?
Inspector Jacques Clouseau is a timeless character in the world of comedy, and Peter Sellers's portrayal of the inept yet charming detective is a joy to watch to this day. If you ever need a crash course in how to establish exposition, the opening scene of this film is a must-watch, as it's orchestrated damn-near flawlessly.
The best of the Panther films but that's not saying much. Great music and a cool opening scene and Sellers has some fun bits, but there's a lot of long stretches without any jokes at all. It's sad to face the fact that Peter Sellers was a great performer but was mostly in bad works.