Tuesday, May 24, 2016

You Will Not Attack, Cato!

In honor of Burt Kwouk, British/Chinese character actor who passed away today at the age of 85, I present a ranking of the best Cato/Clouseau battles from the Pink Panther movies:

PROS: The scariest. First attack by Cato, so you don’t really know what’s going on until the denouement. This could be a real assassin trying to take out our favorite French detective.

CONS: Low on the physical comedy. And we don’t really get to enjoy it until he picks up the phone and we figure out what’s going on.

RANK: Sixth

PROS: We’re introduced to Clouseau’s Killing Blow after the initial fight is over. And we get a peek into future attacks and the reason behind their expected growth in intensity.

CONS: Way too short, as it’s over in less than 45 seconds.  Again, little physical comedy.

RANK: Seventh

PROS: Anticipation. We’re now primed for his attack, but it doesn’t come immediately. We feel the tension build as Clouseau wanders the apartment, hands in defensive positions. First surprise attack from unexpected location. Clouseau makes excellent fight noises. First in-fight slow-mo and in-camera fear shot by Clouseau.

CONS: Over far too soon. Cheap shot with the “Your fly is undone” joke.

RANK: Third

PROS: “This is not the time/This is the time” joke.


RANK: Fourth

PROS: Cato in drag. Return of the “Time and a place” joke and slow-motion disaster.

CONS: Francois taking an unnecessary hit.

RANK: Fifth

PROS: Best Cato reveal as his face appears in the bed canopy. Best weapons placement, randomly through the apartment. Best use of fast motion and slow motion combined. Best kill shot on random apartment stuff with death of TV. Best Clouseau weaponry ineptitude as he tosses his kendo stick. Best involvement of a non-participating (Dreyfus) eating it in the apartment below. Best bellow in fear from Clouseau. Best camera work following Cato on the hunt. Best use of the “we’re back to back and then turn around and see each other” gag. Best post-fight kill line: “Relax, I’ll get it.”

CONS: Hard to say. This one’s pretty damn good.

RANK: First.

PROS: Best “falling through the hole cut in the floor gag” with Clouseau trying to mix his breathing in with the sound of the saw. Wonderful CLouseau noises as he chases Cato up the stairs. And I love how he falls through the hole in the floor a second time, and how he pulls Cato through the hole after the phone call is done.

CONS: Far too short.

RANK: Second.

No comments: