Better sight gags, more inspired comic sequences, and an actually clever mystery plot make "The Pink Panther 2" a more confident and more enjoyable film than its predecessor, which itself was perfectly watchable.
Yes, I guess it's pretty clear that I'm one of those in the minority who don't think it's sacrilege that Steve Martin is trying to follow in the footsteps of the great Peter Sellers. Two things should be remembered on this score: Peter Sellers was extremely talented, no doubt, but his Inspector Clouseau was, well... a bumbling detective character. In other words, it's not the kind of subtle, nuanced character that another talented comic actor can't legitimately take a crack at. Secondly, people forget that critics weren't head over heels in love with the original Sellers Clouseau movies, either, especially his last two or three. Moviegoers tended to like them, but critics mostly dismissed them in favor of Seller's more serious comic works, like "Dr. Strangelove", "Being There", etc. So let's all get a grip now.
Myself, I enjoy Martin's take on the character. Seller's Clouseau was a complete boob who only solved crimes and attained fame completely accidentally, which was admittedly interesting. Martin's take is also interesting, though: his Clouseau is a complete boob at most things, but also has some legitimate detective skills. Those two divergent aspects of the same character makes Martin's Clouseau fun to watch.
So, is the film a comic masterpiece? Nah. But "The Pink Panther 2" is a lot of fun, and definitely worth a trip to the theater.