Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment

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Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
Police Academy 2 film.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Drew Struzan
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Barry W. Blaustein
David Sheffield
Based on
Produced by Paul Maslansky
Cinematography James Crabe
Edited byBob Wyman
Music by Robert Folk
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • March 29, 1985 (1985-03-29)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$7.5 million [1] [2]
Box office$115 million [3]

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment is a 1985 American comedy film directed by Jerry Paris. It is the second installment in the Police Academy franchise and the sequel to Police Academy .


Many actors who were in the first film return to reprise their roles. Steve Guttenberg, for example, as Officer Carey Mahoney, the class clown; former American football player Bubba Smith returns as the colossal Moses Hightower; Marion Ramsey is featured again as Laverne Hooks; David Graf returns as gun-crazy Officer Eugene Tackleberry; Michael Winslow returns as sound effects master Officer Larvell Jones, and veteran actor George Gaynes returns as Commandant Eric Lassard.

New faces in Police Academy 2 include Howard Hesseman as Captain Pete Lassard (the brother of Police Academy commandant Eric Lassard); Bobcat Goldthwait as Zed, the leader of "The Scullions", an obnoxious gang; Art Metrano as Lt. Mauser; Peter Van Norden as slobbish police dog Officer Vinnie Schtulman; Tim Kazurinsky as hapless business owner Carl Sweetchuck; and Lance Kinsey as Sgt. Proctor. In the film, the Police Academy cadets have graduated and are assigned to the worst precinct in town, where they have to help Captain Pete Lassard fight Zed's gang.


After a random attack by "The Scullions", a gang led by Zed McGlunk (Bobcat Goldthwait), Chief Henry Hurst (George R. Robertson) goes to the 16th precinct, telling Captain Pete Lassard (Howard Hesseman) the precinct is the worst in the city. Lassard protests as Hurst previously cut his budget and workforce, and the remaining officers are outmanned and old, and can no longer get the job done, and that he'll need at least a dozen new recruits if he stands any chance at turning things around.

Hurst allows Lassard six new recruits, but also gives him 30 days to turn the precinct around or he is out. Before he leaves, Lieutenant Mauser (Art Metrano) asks for promotion to Captain if Lassard fails. Capt. Lassard calls his brother Eric (George Gaynes) at the Police Academy, asking him for six recruits. Mauser is seen talking with his dim-witted partner, Sgt. Proctor (Lance Kinsey), as he attempts to take control of the precinct.

The Commandant's top graduates Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow), Eugene Tackleberry (David Graf), Moses Hightower (Bubba Smith), Laverne Hooks (Marion Ramsey), and Douglas Fackler (Bruce Mahler) arrive from the police academy and join the 16th precinct with some of them assigned to a veteran officer partner. Fackler is assigned to Dooley (Ed Herlihy), Jones to Sistrunk (Sandy Ward), Mahoney to Vinnie Schtulman (Peter Van Norden), and Tackleberry to Sgt. Kathleen Kirkland (Colleen Camp). Tackleberry later confides to Mahoney that he may have fallen in love with Kirkland.

Mauser, determined to become captain, consistently undermines the new recruits, especially Mahoney. On patrol, Mahoney and Schtulman spot a robbery, but the robbers escape due to confusion caused in part by other responding officers. Mauser is about to suspend them, but Mahoney's passionate plea convinces Lassard to give them another chance. Simultaneously, Zed and his gang go "shopping" in a supermarket, causing havoc and chaos.

Mahoney is reassigned by Mauser to patrol a tunnel, resulting in him and his partner being covered with soot. In revenge, he switches Mauser's shampoo with epoxy from Tackleberry's helmet repair kit, gluing Mauser's hands to his hair. He embarrasses himself in front of the station and has to wear a wig throughout the remainder of the film. Capt. Lassard spots some of Zed's men and tries to deal with them, but is over-powered and spray-painted. This humiliation emboldens him to allow the precinct to use "whatever means possible" to contain the gang. Progress is made and most of the gang is captured at The Blue Oyster Bar, but Mauser has most of the charges dropped due to excessive force and procedure violations. Mahoney realizes Mauser did this on purpose so, in revenge, he requests a body cavity search for him.

Later, Tackleberry goes dancing with Kirkland. They profess their love for each other and make love (after removing their numerous concealed weapons). Captain Lassard goes to see his brother Eric, who comes up with the idea to hold a fair. However, Zed's men trash it, putting Lassard out of a job the next day, and Mauser is promoted to captain. His first act is to remove Mahoney, and then Schtulman when he objects to Mahoney's dismissal.

Mahoney, Schtulman, and Lassard get together in a last-ditch attempt to stop the gang. Mahoney goes undercover to infiltrate the gang. Lassard and Schtulman wire him with a Mr. Microphone. As "Jughead", formerly of the gang "The Archies", he infiltrates the gang, finding out both their hiding spot (the abandoned Griffith Park Zoo) and the name of their leader. However, his cover is blown when the microphone cuts into a radio ad, leading to Lassard calling every man to the location. The officers arrive, but are stopped by Mauser.

Mauser attempts to conduct a raid, but Fackler bumps him into an air duct, leading to his capture by Zed and his gang. The officers stage their own raid, overpowering and arresting the gang. Zed attempts to escape with Mahoney, but Lassard blocks him, preparing to shoot Zed. However, Mahoney punches Zed down stairs, where Hooks arrests him. Lassard's gun was not loaded, as he "hasn't carried live ammo since '73". He is later reinstated as captain, as are Mahoney and Schtulman on the force, while Mauser is demoted back to lieutenant.

The officers, including the re-instated Lassard, attend Tackleberry and Kirkland's wedding. They drive off in the monster truck Bigfoot.


The six new 16th Precinct officers

The rest of the 16th Precinct


The Scullions


The first film had cost $4.8 million but the second was $7.5 million. Producer Paul Maslansky said the difference was due to filming in Los Angeles rather than Toronto, as in the original. "Shooting in Los Angeles is expensive," he said. "Not because of the city officials; they provide every cooperation. It's the merchants and the property owners who can really hit you. There's so much filming going on that they ask a lot of money for location sites, parking, etc." Maslansky also said "Naturally the actors wanted more money to do the sequel. The above-the- line (principal talent) costs are about a million and a half, and that includes my own fee." He added "We lost some time because I had to change directors after a couple of weeks. But Jerry Paris... has done a great job of catching up." [2]

"I wasn't too sold on doing the sequel," said Guttenberg. "I didn't think the script was as good as the first one. But it has been improved, and after I talked with Paul, I decided to give it another try." [2]


Box office

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment opened on 1,613 screens, grossing $10,675,896 in its opening weekend, setting a record for March. [4] It was the 11th highest-grossing film in the United States in 1985 with a total of $55.6 million. [5] The film grossed $115 million worldwide and made a profit of $20.5 million. [3]

Critical response

The film received negative reviews. [6] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 28% based on 18 reviews. [7] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 39 out of 100 based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews". [8]

Variety wrote: "Follow-up features much of the original's cast but none of its key behind-the-scenes creative talent, save producer Paul Maslansky. Only actor to get any mileage out of this one is series newcomer Art Metrano, as an ambitious lieutenant bent upon taking over the department." Variety had little praise for the film, except "Metrano somehow manages to shine in these murkiest of circumstances, and Michael Winslow has a couple of good moments". [9] Film critic Leonard Maltin gave the movie a BOMB rating (the first of 5 for the series), saying, "There are Dragnet episodes that are funnier than this movie."[ citation needed ] Siskel & Ebert included it on a 1985 episode of their TV show that focused entirely on terrible sequels, though Gene noted it had two more laughs in it than the 1984 first film did (which meant the sequel had exactly two laughs).

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  1. "'Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment". The Wrap Powergrid. Retrieved 27 February 2017.[ permanent dead link ]
  2. 1 2 3 Thomas, Bob (11 January 1985). "IF YOU ENJOYED 'POLICE ACADEMY,' GET READY FOR ANOTHER". Chicago Tribune. p. E.
  3. 1 2 Block, Alex Ben; Wilson, Lucy Autrey, eds. (2010). George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success . HarperCollins. p.  631. ISBN   9780061778896.
  4. Greenberg, James (April 2, 1985). "'Police Academy 2' Scores Best Opening Figures Nationally in 1985". Daily Variety . p. 6.
  5. Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment at Box Office Mojo
  6. Thomas, Kevin (1985-04-01). "MOVIE REVIEW NO PLEA BARGAINING: AN F-GRADE FOR 'POLICE 2'". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  7. "Police Academy 2". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved 2023-11-25.
  8. "Police Academy 2". Metacritic . Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  9. Variety Staff (1 January 1985). "Police Academy 2 – Their First Assignment". Variety.