Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment is a 1985 American comedy film directed by Jerry Paris and starring Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, Marion Ramsey, David Graf, Michael Winslow, Bobcat Goldthwait, Art Metrano, Lance Kinsey, Howard Hesseman, and George Gaynes, and is the second film in the Police Academy film series.
One year after they graduated from the police academy, Carey Mahoney and his friends are assigned to stop a band of graffiti daubing terrorists known as "The Scullions", led by the nefarious Zed McGlunk.
Why It Rocks
- The acting is once again top-notch.
- Very good soundtrack, again composed by Robert Folk.
- Superb plot about overcoming the odds, no matter how bad things can get.
- Zed and Lt. Mauser, played respectively by Bobcat Goldthwait and Art Metrano, are both pretty good villains in their own respective ways (Zed causes some serious damage to the city, while Mauser tries to sabotage the recruits' many attempts while personally targeting Mahoney), with Sgt. Carl Proctor, played by Lance Kinsey, being a good dogsbody for Mauser.
- The jokes are still humourous, such as Mahoney swapping Mauser's shampoo with quick-setting glue, forcing Mauser to wear a wig for the rest of the film.
- Good climax, just like the original, including a fight scene between Mahoney and Zed.
- The subplot of Officer Eugene Tackleberry falling in love with Sgt. Kathleen Kirkland is very nice, and the two get married at the end of the film, heading off on their honeymoon in the Bigfoot 3 monster truck.
- Despite being a pretty intimidating villain, Zed can be annoying (mainly as he always screams).
- Even though this film is good, it's a bit of a small step down from the first movie.
- Steve Guttenberg almost did not return for the sequel, as he was not pleased with the script as originally presented to him. After some re-writes, and a bigger paycheck, Guttenberg was happy to reprise his role as Mahoney.
- James Signorelli was originally scheduled to direct, but was considered "too edgy" by producer and creator Paul Maslansky, and was replaced by Jerry Paris.
- Bill Paxton was offered the role of Zed, but turned it down when the contract required him to also appear in future sequels.
- After failing to land the part of Mahoney in the first film, Jerry Seinfeld auditioned for the role of Proctor. Lance Kinsey and Seinfeld both shared the same manager, and were surprised to see each other in the waiting room at the audition. According to Kinsey, he couldn't help laughing so loud, when Seinfeld came back out of the audition room, leaned over to Kinsey, and said, "It's still available."
- Donovan Scott confirmed in his Facebook page that he did actually receive a copy of the script, but refused to reprise his role as Leslie Barbara from the first film due to the combination of both a scene where his character had to "eat cat poop", and the discovery that Hugh Wilson would not be returning for this film. As a result, Barbara was rewritten as Sgt. Vinnie Schtulman, played by Peter Van Norden.
- Julie Brown was going to appear in the film as Mahoney's second love interest, a seamstress named Chloe Daniels, only to find out later that all her scenes, bar two nearly cameo appearances, were cut from the final print. According to Brown, Steve Guttenberg was not very nice to her on set. While filming the street fair scene, where Mahoney takes Chloe on a date by riding the Ferris wheel, Guttenberg refused to go through with their scripted kissing scene, telling Brown that his character would not kiss hers. The entire romantic subplot with Mahoney and Chloe ended up being deleted from the final cut.
- G.W. Bailey had hoped to reprise his role as Lt. Thaddeus Harris, but was passed over in favor of Art Metrano, who played Lt./Capt./Cmndt. Mauser in both this film and Police Academy 3: Back in Training. Bailey instead took a job working with Hugh Wilson on Rustlers' Rhapsody. However, on a day off, Bailey made an uncredited cameo as a guest at Tackleberry and Sgt. Kirkland's wedding at the end of the film. He appeared from behind, as the man having his picture taken by the photographer. Bailey would return in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.
- Sgt. Debbie Callahan did not appear in this film due to Leslie Easterbrook being pregnant with her daughter at the time.
- Some of the original cast members allegedly complained about losing screentime to the newer cast members, causing production to be shut down temporarily and a mediator being brought in to mellow out the cast before continuing.
- In an interview prior to the start of production, David Graf said that he would not mind doing a series of Police Academy movies: "I'd do it strictly for the money. Kathy and I went to a party at Hugh Wilson's, and it was all very ritzy, with valet parking, caviar, champagne, all that, and while we were there, surrounded by all that luxury, Kathy and I were talking about how we were going to pay the gas bill. The gas company had told us they were going to discontinue service the next day. I don't want to be in that position again. So, yes, I would do a series of Police Academies, for money." True to his word, Graf appeared in all seven Police Academy movies.
- In an interview shortly after this film's release, Steve Guttenberg said that being in a major hit like Police Academy, that earned a lot of money and extremely nasty reviews, was both a help and a hindrance: "There's an advantage because the film makes a lot of money. But the disadvantage is that they want you to keep doing it again and again. You can get stuck in them. I was very reluctant to do the sequel, but there's a contract. They've got options on me forever, but they're very understanding about my desires."