Picks and Pans Review: Police Academy 2

updated 04/22/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/22/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

It's almost an insult to a modern comedy to say that it is not either all-out tasteless or mean spirited. But this sequel, like 1984's original Police Academy, is good-natured without sacrificing its punch-lines. Steve (The Day After) Guttenberg is still the focus of his unobtrusively likable class of now-rookie cops. But Bubba Smith, Michael Winslow (the one who can mimic all kinds of noises), David Graf, Marion Ramsey and Bruce Mahler are back, too. They're all assigned to a gang-troubled precinct commanded by Howard (WKRP in Cincinnati) Hesseman. George (Tootsie) Gaynes again plays the academy superintendent who evinces a beaming lack of connection to the real world. There's also a marvelous performance by a newcomer, San Francisco comic Bob Goldthwait. He plays the gang leader, a giddy vegetarian psychopath who talks in a steady slur, as if he were a cross between Pee Wee Herman and Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. Jerry Paris, a veteran of TV's Dick Van Dyke Show and Happy Days, directed. The jokes are obvious, running to such things as substituting epoxy for the shampoo of a despotic watch commander. But not many movies these days offer audiences so many amiable, guilt-free guffaws. (PG-13)

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