Grading Lucy Liu, Gwyneth, and other casting calls -- Can Liu pull off a picture alone, and can Chris Tucker pull off Inspector Clouseau?

By Brian M. Raftery
Updated June 21, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Lucy Liu
Credit: Lucy Liu: Ed Geller/Globe

FILM A John Woo-produced update on the justly antiquated Charlie Chan detective series
STAR ”Charlie” girl Lucy Liu, playing Chan’s crime-solving granddaughter
VERDICT Confucius say: Why bring back Chan? And despite the gender spin, the biggest unsolved mystery may be whether Liu can carry a picture all by herself. B

FILM ”The Pink Panther” returns under director Ivan Reitman (”Ghostbusters”)
STAR High-pitched (and high-paid) motormouth Chris Tucker as bumbling Inspector Clouseau
VERDICT He’s done French farce before — in Luc Besson’s 1997 ”The Fifth Element” — but Tucker will have to tone it down to play this breed of cool cat. B-