Friday, November 19, 2004

Movie Review: Police Academy 4 (1987)

Friday, November 19, 2004
A film by Jim Drake

The misfit police officers are back at it again. This time the officers are being asked to help with the new "Citizens on Patrol" program. This program allows regular citizens to help clean up the streets of the city and just like the first "Police Academy" movie, the new program attracts an assorted band of misfits which is characterized by a little old grandma (Billie Bird) who, like Tackleberry (David Graf) is obsessed with guns and weaponry. Hilarity is supposed to ensue as these new C.O.P.s (clever, huh?) try to bust real criminals and make citizens arrest while they bungle their way into real police work.

Hilarity does not really ensue, though it is better than "Police Academy 5: Project Miami Beach", but then the series is getting progressively worse. The style of comedy is much the same as the other "Police Academy" movies. It is slapstick, silly, bungling humor, and it works to an extent the first time you see the movie. It works especially well if the viewer is younger, around 10 years old or so. Any truly offensive scenes have been scrubbed out of this series (though the first movie was rated "R").

This fourth movie is notable for being the last of the "Police Academy" movies to feature Steve Guttenberg as Officer Carey Mahoney. Note the drop in quality when Guttenberg leaves only to replaced by the similar character Nick Lassard in P.A. 5. This movie also has a younger Sharon Stone and David Spade is supporting roles and a cameo appearance by a very young Tony Hawk. None of the "Police Academy" movies are all that good, except perhaps the first one, but by the time the fourth movie rolled around it was clearly time to stop. That's my recommendation: stop. If you have seen the first three, you have seen all the good parts and you are now just washing a less funny rehash of the earlier movies. It is nice to see Captain Harris (G.W. Bailey) back, but let's just let this series rest now.

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