Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985, Jerry Paris)


In this first sequel, the Class of ’84 are sent out to staff a badly performing precinct in a rough area of town. Here I continue my attempt to track the series’s running gags and clichés…

Mahoney flirts and pulls pranks! – He flirts with women on the beach; pulls out Mauser’s floss when it’s stuck in his teeth; gives Tackleberry dating advice; swaps Mauser’s shampoo for epoxy resin; and then later arranges for him to have a body-cavity search.

Hightower uses his strength! – He throws a football so hard it knocks a guy off his feet; singlehandedly brings out a number of bad guys from the Blue Oyster bar; and is annoyed when mild-mannered Sweetchuck matches him on the funfair’s test-of-strength.

Tackleberry shoots! – He orders street-crossing kids around like soldiers; scares the shit out of a child (played by Lorraine Baines’s brother from Back to the Future) at his mother’s request; gets a romance subplot with Sgt Kathleen Kirkland when they bond over handguns; comes in all guns blazing when a lamp shop is being robbed; and, when getting amorous with Kirkland, takes ages to remove all his hidden weapons.

Jonesey’s sound effects! – Ugly eating noises to embarrass two diners; Mauser’s watch beeping; a fault with their car to annoy his grumpy partner; a vicious dog to scare a blinded Mauser; kung-fu-movie dubbed dialogue and fighting sound effects when beating up a pair of bad guys; an automatic popcorn machine; an impression of a bear; sounds of machine guns and the police arriving to intimidate a gang; and an instamatic camera at the wedding party.

Hooks shouts ‘Dirtbag!’ – She’s typically meek and mild, then punches Proctor when he won’t help Mahoney. Her “Don’t move, dirtbag!” comes at the end when pointing a gun at gang leader Zed.

Callahan’s chest! – She’s not in this one.

Harris shouts ‘Proctor!’ – He’s not in this one.

Lassard is a bit, um, vague! – He feeds his fish again, but accidentally puts a huge wodge of food in the bowl; misunderstands his brother’s request for “some healthy young men”; goes to a Chinese restaurant and leaves his fishbowl on a hot plate, then holds Eric’s hand down on it too.

Bobcat! – The first appearance of Bobcat Goldthwait as unpredictable, screeching, hyperactive, eccentric-talking Zed McGlunk. He’s the bad guy in this film. He and his gang ransack a supermarket and terrorise the city; when Mahoney asks Zed for a light, Zed sets his own hand on fire.

Obvious replacement characters! – In the place of Harris, we have Lieutenant Mauser as the antagonistic, arrogant, vain and up-himself policeman who the regulars take against. He has an odious sidekick called Proctor (the dumber of the two).

Homophobic!/Racist! – Proctor mishears ‘new recruits’ as ‘fruits’, so photographs some gay men. When he sees a very dirty Mahoney sitting next to Jones, he jokes that they’re brothers. While being chased by gang members, Sweetchuck runs into the Blue Oyster. (Proctor knows the address of the bar – and gets dubious looks.)

Bare breasts! – There are some topless sunbathers on the beach. Mahoney sticks a long balloon down his trousers when he’s being fitting for a new uniform. “Mahoney, I’m a virgin!” shouts Tackleberry just as the room quietens down. Mauser walks into the precinct lobby while naked, and when he later ends up with hair stuck to his palms, Mahoney makes a wanking gag.

Famous totty! – Colleen Camp (sexy French maid Yvette in Clue, one of the cops in Die Hard With a Vengeance, Reese Witherspoon’s mum in Election) plays Kathleen Kirkland.

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