The original Blake Edwards films, thin as their stories were, showed craft—like the long, intricate tracking shot of the bed-hopping suspects that opens A Shot in the Dark (1964). As played by Peter Sellers, Inspector Clouseau managed to solve crimes in spite of himself, his naivete a sort of talisman. Steve Martin may have been the logical choice to become the bungling detective when MGM and Sony rebooted the series in 2006, but even his superb talent for physical comedy can't salvage this crude paint-by-numbers sequel directed by Harald Zwart. Costars John Cleese, Jean Reno, Alfred Molina, Andy Garcia, and Jeremy Irons look either bored or desperate, gasping for laughs in an airless screenplay. PG, 92 min.
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