Now I have to admit that today’s movie is the first movie in this franchise that I ever saw. This was years ago when I was a kid and my family lived in Birmingham and it happened to come on TV one afternoon. I didn’t get a chance to see all of it that time, just the tail end at the zoo and the only thing that really stuck out was the main bad guy, Zed. It would be a couple of years later before I finally got the chance to watch all of today’s movie, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment.
The plot: In a gang controlled area of downtown, Carl Sweetchuck locks up his store and makes his way to the ATM but before he can deposit his day’s receipts, he is grabbed by a gang and their leader, Zed, who is upset at the small amount of money Sweetchuck has on him. The next day, Police Chief Henry Hurst makes his way to the 16th precinct, where he berates Captain Pete Lassard for having the worst precinct in the city. Lassard says that with his budget cut and aging cops, there isn’t much he can do and tells Hurst that he needs more men. Hurst agrees to let him have 6 new officers and tells Lassard that if he doesn’t turn things around in 30 days, he will be relieved of his command. As Hurst is leaving, a suck-up named Lt. Mauser speaks to him about his own ideas for the precinct and Hurst tells him that if Lassard fails, then Mauser will be the precint’s new Captain. Lassard calls his brother Eric and asks for some new recruits to be sent to him and Eric sends Mahoney, Hightower, Jones, Tackleberry, Hooks, and Fackler to the 16th precinct. As Lassard greets the new men and tells him what he hopes to accomplish, Mauser is speaking with his yes-man, Sgt. Proctor, and decides to sabotage the new recruits so that they fail and he gets Lassard’s job. Mauser, being the watch commander, begins handing out assignments, partnering several of the recruits with veteran officers, while Hightower is placed on foot patrol and Hooks is given desk duty. Tackleberry is assigned motorcycle duty and goes to meet his partner, Sgt. Kathleen Kirkland but when he realizes she is a woman, he is disappointed at first but gains respect for her after they begin discussing weapons. Mahoney goes to meet his new partner, Vinnie Schtulman of the K9 force. As they are walking along their route, they see two members of Zed’s gang robbing Sweetchuck’s store and call it in and Mauser tells them to move in without backup. Mahoney and Schtulman head inside but the gang members have already left. When Fackler, Tackleberry, and Kirkland arrive, they end up accidentally shooting at each other in a case of mistaken identity, ruining the shop while Sweetchuck is injured by Hightower as he tries to run away. Mauser is reprimanding the new recruits over the damages to the store but Lassard lets it go, stating that if the other officers tried as hard as the recruits did, they would have the area cleaned up. Meanwhile, Zed and his gang head to a grocery store and ransack the place, while terrorizing Sweetchuck who happened to be there. That night, several of the guys meet at a bar and Tackleberry pulls Mahoney aside and tells him he thinks he is in love with Kirkland but doesn’t know what to do as he is a virgin. The next day, Mauser assigns Mahoney and Schtulman to work tunnel duty and when they return to the precinct, they are covered in soot from all of the car exhaust. In the locker room, Mauser mocks Mahoney for how he looks so Mahoney decides to get even by switching Mauser’s shampoo with Tackleberry’s helmet resin, causing Mauser’s hands to get stuck to his head, then Jones imitates Schtulman’s dog Lou and chases Mauser out of the locker room, where he ends up standing naked in front of a bunch of citizens that Lassard is talking with. The next day, Lassard sees a couple of gang members harassing some kids and goes to stop them but ends up getting jumped by more gang members. At the precinct, Mauser, now wearing a wig, is yelling at the recruits over his hair when Lassard shows up, covered in spray paint, and give a speech to rally the rookies into arresting the gang members. Tackleberry and Kirkland stop a pair of robbers but as they go to arrest them, they two cops end up attracted to each other. Meanwhile, Sweetchuck is confronted by several members of Zed’s gang but he manages to get away and duck into the Blue Oyster Bar. When the gang follows him, they end up fighting with the bar’s patrons. Mauser sends Mahoney and Schtulman to deal with the fight but they are overwhelmed so Hightower heads there and begins quickly dealing with the troublemakers. At the precinct, Lassard is congratulating Mahoney and the others on a good start to cracking down on the gang but when he is on the phone with Hurst, Mauser interrupts to let him know that they had to let the gang members go due to procedural violations. Lassard gets upset at the news while Mauser gloats and Mahoney tells him he knows that Mauser let the men go on purpose so he arranges for Mauser to be the recipient of a body cavity search. That night, Tackleberry and Kirkland go on a date and afterwards, admit their love for each other and, after removing the various weapons they each have hidden on them, they end up having sex. Eric meets with his brother at a hibachi grill and when Pete complains about what has happened, Eric suggests having a street fair in order to rebuild the community spirit. Pete thinks it is a great idea and manages to get the mayor to attend the fair but Zed and his gang show up and attack the fair. Lassard is fired and Mauser suspends Mahoney for the BCS, then suspends Schtulman when he sticks up for Mahoney. As the three drink over their misfortunes, Schtulman comes up with the idea to send Mahoney undercover and Lassard agrees with him. A disguised Mahoney spots two of Zed’s gang members and manages to get in with them after smashing a phone booth and attacking Jones’ partner, while signaling Jones not to blow his cover. The next day, Lassard and Schtulman attach a microphone to Mahoney so they can hear what the gang says and Mahoney is taken to the gang’s hideout at the old zoo to meet the leader, Zed. When the microphone begins broadcasting a ball game, Zed realizes that Mahoney is a cop and has his men grab him so LAssard calls for backup. Proctor tries to stop Hooks from radioing everyone but she punches him, then radios everyone to go help Mahoney. At the zoo, Lassard starts handing out assignments but Mauser shows up and chooses to take command himself. Mauser has Facler come with him to the top of the cave but as he ties a rope around his waist to lower Facler into the cave, Fackler accidentally knocks Mauser inside. The rest of the gang show up and manage to capture the rest of Zed’s gang and when Zed tries to escape with Mahoney as a hostage, Lassard stops him and manages to get Zed to drop his gun. When Zed goes to pick it back up, Mahoney punches him and Zed falls down the stairs, where Hooks holds her gun on him and as Mahoney approaches Lassard, Lassard admits that he hasn’t had live ammunition in his gun since ’73. Lassard is reinstated as Captain and Mahoney and Schtulman are taken off suspension and they all attend the wedding of Tackleberry and Kirkland, who drive off on their honeymoon in a monster truck.
Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment met with a mostly negative response from the critics, holding a 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seemed to think this was a poor follow-up to the original but did seem to praise Bobcat Goldthwait’s character Zed. The monster truck that Tackleberry and Kirkland drive off in is actually Bigfoot III, which would make another appearance in the 6th movie in the franchise. The movie was a box office hit as it would make $61.6 million off of a $7.5 million budget.
Yet another movie to fall victim to the sequel curse. This is nowhere near as good as the first movie but did have a couple of redeeming moments. The acting was good, with the returning characters doing good jobs in their roles but unfortunately, they were absolutely eclipsed by Bobcat Goldthwait (Zed), who really stole the show with the scenes he was in, especially the ones where he picked on Sweetchuck (Tim Kazurinsky). While he isn’t the same as G.W. Bailey, Art Metrano did make a good foil to the gang in the form of Lt. Mauser. The story was honestly a little generic, as the whole police cleaning up a gang infested neighborhood felt like it had been done before. There didn’t seem to be as much comedy as there was in the first one, but there were a couple of good lines and some funny scenes but overall, it felt a little weak in the laugh department. A decent movie but it is a step down from the original.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5