Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Their First Assignment

It only took Warner Brothers twelve months to get a sequel to its monster hit POLICE ACADEMY into theaters. To ensure an even wider audience, sitcom director Jerry Paris (HAPPY DAYS) brought it in with a PG-13 rating, though it contains about the same amount of adult humor, including a naked Art Metrano, as the R-rated original. It was a hit and led to more increasingly silly installments.

Academy graduates Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), Tackleberry (David Graf), Hightower (Bubba Smith), Jones (Michael Winslow), Hooks (Marion Ramsey), and Fackler (Bruce Mahler) are assigned to the worst precinct in the city, the one run by Commandant Lassard’s (George Gaynes) brother, Captain Pete Lassard (WKRP IN CINCINNATI's Howard Hesseman). Lassard has thirty days to end the crime wave sweeping his precinct, or else the chief will turn over command to the sycophantic watch commander Mauser (Metrano). It goes without saying that our favorite misfits will have to foil Mauser’s sabotage to save their jobs.

This sequel looks more expensive than the original with more extras, stunts, and slapstick. I wouldn’t exactly call it funny, but it’s an amusing if soft timewaster with a cast that aims to please. Also with Tim Kazurinsky, Jackie Joseph, Bobcat Goldthwait, Just Say Julie Brown, Lucy Lee Flippin, Sandy Ward, Jennifer Darling, Arthur Batanides, and Ed Herlihy. Music by Robert Folk. Ex-SNL writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield penned COMING TO AMERICA next.

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