Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment Review

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Having graduated from the police academy, Mahoney and his cronies, are issued with their first assignments as real cops. However, the city precinct the get landed with has a record crime rate, mainly due to the nutcase Zed and his gang. Meanwhile, the dev


Not that they ever possessed much in the way of credibility, the second of the umpteen Police Academy comedies still had a good number of laughs, and we hadn’t yet tired of the one-note routines of this inept squad of new recruits. It’s juvenilia, straight-up goofballing, but there is a tittering innocence at work here that would wear out over another six sequels.

Thus, with its wafer thin plot of the gang fighting crime while saving their insensible Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes) from his rival, and butt of more than his fair share of the gags, Lt. Mauser (Art Metrano), it goes through the motions exactly as it did before. And, just about, an equal hit rate on laughs (about fifty per cent). Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg) is smarmy and wise-talking; Hightower (Bubba Smith) is really, like, big; Michael Winslow’s Jones does uncanny machine gun and car alarm impressions; while Marion Ramsey’s Hook speaks really quietly and the late David Graf’s Tackleberry is obsessed with armaments. It’s doesn’t sound much on paper, and doesn’t do that much on screen, but the groups dumb togetherness grants a vacuous engagement.

And it did have a secret weapon in Bobcat Goldthwait’s Zed, his was a brand new routine for the series (one that would also be worn out later) — a screeching voice that sounds like David Bowie suffering acute constipation. Sadly, for all of mankind, it turns out he’s hilarious. Some things are hard to fathom.

This was when the Police Academies were still quite amusing.