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Review: POLICE ACADEMY 2 (1985)

by Meredith Grau
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Best Bad Quote:
“Don’t make me flare my nostrils.”
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Well, the gang is back for round two. That’s right. BE excited. Mahoney (Goot/Gute), Hightower (Bubba Smith), Tackleberry (David Graf), Jones (Michael Winslow), Fackler (Bruce Mahler), and Hooks (Marion Ramsey), have graduated from the Academy and are about to be given their first major assignment– turning the city precinct around and taking a bite out of crime! Well, not Hooks. She is left sitting at the back of the movie bus until she is allowed to perform the same big finish she had in the first film: yelling powerfully. Once.
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There are a few new faces– G.W. Bailey has been replaced with Lt. Mauser (Art Metrano) as the authority figure who needs to be dismantled, and Colleen Camp as Kirkland takes up essentially where Kim Cattrall left off as the female love interest, who this time cozies up to Tackleberry– but otherwise, the story is the same. The underdogs are put to the test but impeded at every turn by Mauser, who wants to take down the current good guy in charge, Pete Lassard (Howard Hesseman), so he can steal his job. Naturally, Gute is NOT going to let this happen. Even if it means putting on a wig and going undercover. EVEN if it means putting down the gang lord kingpin ‘Zed’ (Bobcat Goldthwait) and his rabble rousing… latent… teenagers?
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Where did Bobcat come from? I dunno. I can only theorize that his most popular and pop-culturally “iconic,” indecipherable characterization was based upon some fusion of Ozzy Osbourne suffering from chronic tourettes and Captain Caveman just being Captain Caveman. In any case, what he creates isn’t so much funny as jarring. It turns your brain to pudding. It’s such an idiodicy (new word) that one can do nothing but marvel– between tantric sips of hookah. The ‘Cat speaks in a language we can all understand if we allow ourselves to tap into our most primal, babified selves. “Wahhhh” is the sound the soul makes. We know this.
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As with the first film, the sequel is a nonsensical mess that does not compute. You really want it to, but there’s not a capable Captain steering this yacht of yahoos. Sorry, but if you’re going to go balls out ludicrous, you need a better anchor to hold it all together than the Gutemeister. (See: Michael Bluth). The good news is that the cooky characters get to spread their wings a liiiiittle bit more than in the previous film. Jones does more of his magical sound effects, a rare gift indeed, but I found myself wishing that more would happen with him and the other supporting officers, Hightower especially. That guy’s awesome! Give him a story, dammit, not just incredible strength! Peasants… At least the romantic story between Tackleberry and Kirkland– she busts his cherry but good— gives you something to emotionally connect to (a bit), but that’s about it. The stakes, if you can call them that, are lower than Rob. (Lowe). Mostly because the non-villainous Zed’s worst “crime” is basically running around making strange noises and bearing his vulnerable heart to people who just don’t get him. If ONLY those were the biggest problems the criminal justice system faced in this day and age. Wait… Maybe it is… Is this movie smarter than eye???
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Because the characters have no back story, there is no real reason to root for them, and Gute does little more than preen like an overgrown Dennis the Mennis and wear knee socks. Unfortunately, we know he’s not a bad ass, so his cocky shenanigans (he glues Mauser’s hands to his head– haha) don’t exactly tickle the fancy. Nor anything else. I’d imagine that the effect is akin to what one would feel if stuck watching a crappy grammar school play. You go out of obligation, because, ya’ know, they’re your kids, but their lack of talent makes you shake your head in shame and long for the [drug of choice] awaiting you at the homestead. You just want to go to your safe place and drown out the human incompetence. Reproduction: it can only bring pain.
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If only Hollywood would keep it in its pants.
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Rating:
2 out of 5 Uncomfortable #2’s
bob bob
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