Written by / 4/01/2011 / No comments / , , , ,

POLICE ACADEMY 2: THEIR FIRST ASSIGNMENT

year: 1985 cast: Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, Howard Hessman Bobcat Golthwait rating: ***1/2
Better than the original, and (arguably) the best POLICE ACADEMY overall.

The cast is narrowed down to the essentials (although missing Leslie Easterbrook): those include the Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, Marion Ramsey, David Graf, and Michael Winslow, whose parody of Kung Fu flicks might be the funniest scene. And for some reason, the spectacle-wearing accident-prone Bruce Maher returns. He's a nice guy but has little purpose herein.

The recruits hit the streets of a crime ridden city, ruled by gang leader Bobcat Goldthwait's Zed. The gargly voiced comic provides a comic relief even though this is already a comedy. He's crass and mean and tough and puts the city through hilarious hell. Yet it's Bob's real life best friend Tim Kazurinsky, as an extremely nerdy store owner, that becomes Zed's main target.

Other worthy new additions include Coleen Camp as Tacklebury's tough girlfriend, who's suburban family are far from normal. While some domestics are into kissing and hugging, her dad and brother punch each other out like extras in a cowboy saloon scene, and the late David Graf's expressions are priceless. Camp's tough chick fits him like a glove. The gung-ho giant finally meets his match.

Howard Hessman is in charge of the cops, and is the brother of spacey leader George Gaynes. And replacing G.W. Baily's villain is Art Metrano, playing like a serious heavy within the hijinks and - along with dimwit sidekick Lance Kinsey - making a perfect foil. Kinsley, a very underrated comic actor, is the perfect victim of practical jokes. But it's Metrano's menace that bares the real brunt. The stocky actor plays it straight while the humor abounds around him. Okay, so G.W. Baily had better comedic chops; but Steve Guttenburg's prankster wrath greets a much more deserving victim with the greaseball curmudgeon.  

All in all good stuff most of the way through, but the end, when the cops and robbers clash, gets tedious. But the flaws matter not. This is a terrific sequel.
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