Mahoney Catches a Mauser
It was little surprise that following the success of "Police Academy" that a sequel would be thrust upon us and to be honest the entire first movie felt like it was made with a sequel in mind by introducing us to a variety of characters. So a year later "Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment" was released and whilst not the worst in the long list of "Police Academy" movies it lacks something which made the first movie enjoyable. Credit where it is due and this time around the action, if you can call it that, moves away from the Academy and onto the streets as our new recruits get to work. But whilst a different location "Police Academy 2" is basically more of the same daft humour which filled the first movie, so we have Steve Guttenberg as the cheeky Officer Mahoney, Michael Winslow giving us sound effects galore as Officer Larvell Jones and several other familiar faces returning as well as some new ones being introduced.
Having past police training the recruits including Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg - The Poseidon Adventure) and Hightower (Bubba Smith) are sent to Precinct 16 where Commandant Eric Lassard's (George Gaynes) brother Captain Peter 'Pete' Lassard (Howard Hesseman - Flight of the Navigator) is in desperate need of help to clean up the streets of crime. But these young recruits cause more trouble than good, especially with Lt. Mauser (Art Metrano) looking to take the top job. And when things go disastrously wrong Mahoney goes undercover pretending to be a street thug to infiltrate a gang called The Scullions lead by the nasty Zed (Bobcat Goldthwait - Scrooged).
Probably the best thing about "Police Academy 2" is that at least the writers didn't just take us back to the Academy and instead came up with a new location, that of the troubled Precinct 16. And they managed to link it back in a stretched out but amusing manner with Captain Peter 'Pete' Lassard being the brother of Commandant Eric Lassard who sends him 6 of his finest recruits to help out. But in reality whilst a different location "Police Academy 2" follows a very similar route to the first movie with Lt. Mauser trying to make fools of the new recruits and Captain Pete Lassard so that he can get the top job. And whilst there is the story about a gang called the Scullions, lead by the verbally challenged Zed, terrorizing the neighbourhood it is probably the slimmest storyline you will ever see. The same can be said of the romantic subplot which sees Eugene Tackleberry falling for his partner, motorbike cop Kathleen Kirkland as they share a love of guns.
What this really means is that once more "Police Academy 2" is a movie all about the comedy and with several of the characters returning from the first movie you have plenty of similar jokes. And so we have Mahoney trying to get the better of Captain Mauser, Jones having fun with his sound effects, Hightower well basically towering over every one and Commandant Eric Lassard being once more a bit dim witted. But sadly whilst the jokes run thick and fast more often than not they fail to really work. Oh there are still some memorably funny scenes such as Mahoney getting one over on Mauser by swapping his shampoo for glue like epoxy resin. But those memorably funny scenes are few and far between meaning that at times "Police Academy 2" ends up feeling a little pointless when the humour fails.
And as was the case with "Police academy" everything once more revolves around Steve Guttenberg as Office Mahoney. Now that isn't actually a bad thing as Steve Guttenberg is once again the best thing about the movie but it does mean that the likes of Bubba Smith, David Graff and Michael Winslow are sidelined. Although saying that Winslow scores one of the funniest scenes with his lips out of synch Bruce Lee impression. And aside from the that we have a couple of new faces such as Howard Hesseman as Captain Peter 'Pete' Lassard and Art Metrano as Lt. Mauser a character obviously designed in the same style as G.W. Bailey's Lt. Thaddeus Harris from the first movie. Ironically the character which ends up being the most memorable in "Police Academy 2" is Zed and Bobcat Goldthwait plays the verbally challenged thug with so much over the top zealous that you can't stop laughing whenever he appears, be it spraying deodorant in his mouth or terrorizing the nervous Mr. Sweetchuck.
What this all boils down to is that "Police Academy 2" is by no means the worst of all the "Police Academy" movies but it is inferior to the first. Whilst it does move location and has a storyline of a police district being terrorized by a gang what you get is very much more of what was delivered in "Police Academy". You get the same characters and the same humour which occasionally works but more often than not doesn't.