All of the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies are good except the first one.
The now legendary Inspector Clouseau character was only a supporting character in the ensemble cast of the first film. It wasn’t until the first film was completed that Blake Edwards realized Sellers’ Clouseau should have been the centerpiece. The second movie (which does not have “Pink Panther” in the title) was titled A Shot in the Dark and was the first “real” Pink Panther movie.
When I say they were all good except the first one, I’m not really counting the final Peter Sellers Pink Panther movie Trail of the Pink Panther. This was made after Sellers’ death and consisted of patched together footage that Sellers had done for previous films.
I can answer that, having heard Zucker, Zucker, and Abrahams discuss it first-hand.
After Airplane!, their next movie was Top Secret! The three of them had all attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and they held a test screening of a rough cut of the film in early 1984 (the film came out that following summer).
I was a freshman at UW-Madison in '84; my roommate and I attended the screening (and loved the film). After the screening, the ZAZ trio had a question-and-answer period with the audience. Someone asked the question, “why weren’t you guys involved with Airplane II?” Their answer was (paraphrasing a bit here):
(They also indicated that they couldn’t decide if they wanted to spoof Elvis movies, spy movies, or WWII movies, which is why Top Secret! spoofs all three.)
I thought the second Austin Powers movie is where it hit it’s stride (and also unfortunately peaked) with the addtions of Rob Lowe playing a young Robert Wagner, Mini-Me, and Fat Bastard.
The third installment overstayed it’s welcome.