The police captain of the 16th Precinct is in some hot water and needs to get gang violence under control before it’s too late. Begging for more manpower he is given the best recruits in The City, our friends from Police Academy. Can they clean up the streets and perhaps have a good time doing it before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment.
How?! All our favorite characters (minus half of them) from the first film are back, Jack! And they’re ready to crush some criminals on the streetz. When the toughest precinct in The City is under scrutiny for their inability to control a dangerous street gang, the captain asks the academy for some extra manpower. The top graduates from the latest class are all called in for duty. Unbeknownst to them, though, Mauser, a sycophant ladder-climber, is hoping to sabotage the effort (*gasp* a saboteur!) as he is next in line to be captain. Hilarity ensues, of course, as our heroes botch investigations, razz Mauser with some zany pranks (classic Gutes), and perhaps even fall in love. Things come to a head when the captain orders the recruits to deal with the gang by any means necessary and they do a valiant job taking out a whole bunch of them. Enter Mauser, though, who purposefully allows them to walk free on technicalities. Feeling like his job is on the line, the captain puts on a community street fair as a last ditch effort but it backfires when the street gang, led by Zed, disrupts the affair. The captain is fired and Mauser is promoted leading to the firing of Mahoney as well due to his many well-planned and executed pranks against Mauser. In a final effort to take out the gang the captain and Mahoney organize an undercover operation to infiltrate the gang headquarters. They are able to locate the HQ, take them all out, and get back their jobs. Hooray. THE END.
Why?! Now this is an interesting question. This time Mahoney and the rest of the recruits don’t really have motivation. They are just doing their job come hell or high water. But as is usually the case the bad guy, Mauser, does have motivation. He wants to see the new recruits fail (along with the current captain) because he’s next in line for being promoted to captain. He doesn’t even care if that means putting some bad guys back out on the street. He’s just hungry for power, baby.
Who?! This will be a first as there is actually a very famous truck featured in the film. When Tackleberry and Kirkland get married at the end of the film they drive off in a monster truck. That monster truck? Bigfoot 3. I believe this is the only film that particular iteration of Bigfoot was featured in, but hard to say. The best is Bigfoot 7 that was built for Road House and then featured in Tango & Cash. Word up.
What?! Miller High Life is still the late-night drink of choice for our main characters but now that they are serious police officers they need the refreshment and energy provided by a nice cold Pepsi. Need to stop a street gang of anarchists? Grab a Pepsi. Much like the institutional staying power of a well-run government, Pepsi give you the staying power to keep the streetz clean of anarchists.
Where?! Still set in the city. Would be interesting if in the future they actually break and let slip where this is all set. Obviously far in the future Mission to Moscow will have a true setting, but I could imagine a director coming along and being like “this is kinda supposed to be Los Angeles anyway, right. Slap some CA license plates on those cars.” Anyway, the only added thing here is that at the beginning of the film Mahoney is on beach duty, so we know The City is on the coast somewhere. D-
When?! I also wonder whether there will come a time where they hit a holiday… like a July 4th riot or something just so I have something to say here. Much like the last film this seemed to not be concerned with the temporal setting. The officers are too focused on their job to note that the Memorial Day is coming up or anything like that. Lame. F.
You can tell that narratively the series will be in a slow descent downwards from a not particularly high starting point. It’s already a little looser and sloppier with how things are put together, particularly concerning Zed’s entire gang and the ending at an abandoned zoo which is lame. But speaking of Zed, I don’t say this lightly. I actually liked Bobcat Goldthwait and his character in this film. He is supposed to be a crazed and dangerous anarchist but given what he says and how he acts he’s actually seems like a nice person who just doesn’t know or adhere to norms of society and thus scares people. I actually found his entire character pretty funny and interesting. What I’m saying is that I can see why his character was brought back as a new recruit in the third film (oh you didn’t know that? Yes the main criminal in this film is then a police recruit in the next). Anyway, I felt like the film also lost a little of its edge in this one. A lot tamer which in some ways was good (less offensive) but also not quite as interesting as the first one was. Kinda settling in for the long haul. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Remember that film Police Academy? What if we did it again? No I mean, literally, what if we did it all exactly the same way again, but with Bobcat Goldthwait? Cool, Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – It is quite obvious that Kim Cattrall managed to sneak away from the franchise at this point, but it was a bit surprising they so suddenly took it to the streets instead of staying in the more comfortable confines of the Academy this early in the franchise. That was the main interesting thing. Making a film mostly on a single set is one thing, but how would everything translate when they were driving around an actual city?
The Good – Oof, this film might feel identical to the first film, but somehow that makes it all the worse that it is a complete garbage film that I hate. It was a pleasant surprise that they brought back most of the cast still. And there were a few solid call backs to the original film. But mainly Bobcat Goldthwait is the one and only bright spot in this horrid film. His character is weirdly nice, but obviously, to a degree that he lives as an anarchist, but seemingly accidentally? It is kind of nuts and I kind of love it.
The Bad – Ugh, most everything. The film feels like it doesn’t have a plot. It recycles one of the main ideas (the antagonist is tasked with sabotaging the Police Academy crew) when there is little to no reason to do so. The fact is that the crew sucks. They are objectively terrible police officers, at least for intercity work (I did like the idea that The Gutes is a fantastic beach cop). So why couldn’t the antagonist have just been Bobcat? Like … why do they need to battle both Bobcat and their own captain? Muddles the whole thing unnecessarily.
You Just Got Schooled – In the last recap I watched the pilot for the 1997 live action police academy television show. So why not watch an episode of the 1988 cartoon? For one it is horrible. Like downright terrible. Holy smokes. There were a few fun things. Like how all the voices aren’t even close to the actors in the films. And also the choices of which characters would be represented. Even just watching two films you actually see all of the characters but one, Thomas “House” Conklin who debuts in the fourth film and is fat and loves to eat. There is also a wacky professor character, but he is naturally only in the animated series (missed opportunity in my opinion). But really dire stuff. On the level of the Star Trek animated series, which was just as embarrassing.
The BMT – Again, just working our way through the franchise. At the moment the third does not qualify for BMT, so I would guess it’ll take two or three more rounds to finish off. That will be a great day indeed.
Welcome to Earf – Steve Guttenberg was in this and Police Academy, with Kim Cattrall who was in Bonfire of the Vanities with Morgan Freeman, who was the narrator for Conan the Barbarian (2011) with Ron Perlman, who was in In the Name of the Kind: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!
StreetCreditReport.com – The lists of worst films from the 80s are hard to come by in the end. So I’ll say that I enjoyed the first Police Academy much much more than the second which immediately felt tired and overdone outside of Bobcat. This list, however, disagrees. Makes me rather intrigued by the third film. That could end up being the only one of the franchise I actually like? Maybe it’ll just the the one I don’t hate. Either way, it could be better.