In the endless parade of unnecessary remakes, 2006's The Pink Panther stands out because there's actually talent involved. Steve Martin is still pretty damn funny, and he should have known better than to mess with a pitch-perfect Peter Sellers in those great '70s farces.

In the endless parade of unnecessary remakes, 2006's The Pink Panther stands out because there's actually talent involved. Steve Martin is still pretty damn funny, and he should have known better than to mess with a pitch-perfect Peter Sellers in those great '70s farces.

Yet he did just that in a flick that owed more to the worst parts of the Austin Powers series (which, come to think of it, owed a lot to Sellers-era Panther movies). But the remake made money, so ... sequel!

The cleverly titled Pink Panther 2 is actually a lot closer to the spirit of the originals, and there are even more talented and funny people involved, but it still only manages sporadic laughs.

Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Martin) has been tapped to head an international detective dream team, much to the ire of his boss (John Cleese taking over Kevin Kline's role). Thickly accented hilarity ensues.

Panther can't quite decide whether to aim for the grown-ups with some winking innuendoes or for the kids with lots of fall-down-go-boom. The results probably won't quite please either.

Still, it's a decided improvement over the first remake, with the physical comedy almost hitting the right notes this time and an improved supporting cast including Andy Garcia, Lily Tomlin, even an unannounced spot from an Oscar winner.

As unnecessary sequels to unnecessary remakes go, you could do worse. And the unnecessary remakes don't stop here. Director Harald Zwart's next project? The Karate Kid.