Charles Dreyfus threatens to destroy the world with a doomsday device if Inspector Clouseau is not killed. Naturally, this is far harder than it sounds. (IMDb)
A mediocre overarching plot (the madman taking over the world and holding hostage a scientist to build him a doomsday machine trope is uninspired and over the top) is saved by its individual scenes, of which nearly each one is goofy slapstick gold you can’t help but laugh at–from Clouseau’s crazy combat with Cato to his daft dentist deceit to his culminating romantic night that ends hilariously horribly. The multiple assassins piece was poorly done though (they hardly seemed to be experts).
To prove that he still is strong and powerful, Philippe Douvier decides to kill Clouseau. Once news of his “death” has been announced, Clouseau tries to take advantage of it and goes undercover with Cato to find out who tried to kill him. (IMDb)
The initial “proving his power” premise is pretty pitiful, but its serious men-in-suits setting juxtaposes perfectly with the silliness that centers on Sellers’ obliviously fortuitous Clouseau, which includes outrageous action (see the multiple-ceiling-breaking fight in his apartment), wacky contrivances (see his “death” and later haunting of Dreyfus) and witty one-liners (“Oh my God.” “Mine too.”) that build up to a classic slapstick final act (see the elevator irony and crazy car chase).
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. (IMDb)
Devastatingly dark and scathingly satirical comedy (“10 to 20 million killed, tops”), brilliantly executed with biting irony (see the “Peace is Our Profession” sign amidst the gunfire; “You can’t fight here, this is the War Room!”), goofy juxtaposition of the mundane and the life-or-death (see Mandrake’s pay-phone call to the president), and visuals both horrifying and humorous (see Kong’s bomb-ride and the final Vera Lynn-backed explosion montage). Sellers is stellar in his three roles.