The Gutes is back, Jack! This time Commandant Lassard has been given the chance to start Citizens on Patrol, a program where regular citizens get police training. But things quickly go sour when Capt. Harris comes back to head the program. Can Mahoney and the gang save the program and the day before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy IV: Citizens on Patrol.
How?! Considering his long history of success with the police academy, Commandant Lassard is given the opportunity to test out his pet project: C.O.P, Citizens on Patrol. It’s a program where regular citizens take the law into their own hands by training at the academy. All of our Police Academy friends are called back into action to help make the program work, but unfortunately Lassard is sent off to promote the program at a police seminar, leaving Capt. Harris in charge. Oh no! Harris thinks C.O.P. is real dumb, particularly after a couple of skateboarders (what jokesters) are thrown in the program in lieu of being sent to jail. Despite the program generally running OK, even sparking a love interest for Zed, Harris is the brunt of a series of pranks that makes him even more determined to shut the program down. Really, though, he doesn’t do anything to stop the program. Instead on the very first day that C.O.P. is out on the streets the citizens spoil a long running undercover police operation. Just as Lassard triumphantly returns to show off the program to a bunch of international police bigwigs he is informed that C.O.P. is donzo. Everyone is real sad. That is until Harris’ precinct allows for a number of hardened criminals/ninjas (this is real) to escape their jail. The C.O.Ps and our police academy friends team up to track down the criminals using jet skis and hot air balloons (naturally). Harris comes off looking like a total loser, duh, while Lassard and the police academics are heroes once again. Oh and the Gutes smooches his latest love interest (Sharon Stone!). Hooray. THE END.
Why?! By the fourth one they are really struggling to keep a coherent plot together. Lassard wants to improve police-community relations and so C.O.P. is his idea to do that. The Police Academy crew seem to just want to help out their friend. Harris is just a dick and thinks police work shouldn’t be handled by the community. It’s all very vague and constantly interrupted by whatever prank the police academy jokesters are playing on their latest victim.
Who?! The presence of NFL player Bubba Smith has to be noted. Pro boxer Tex Cobb also had a cameo appearance. He’s better known (to me) as Lyle in Ernest Goes to Jail. Finally, we get some rad skateboarding scenes that are some of my favorite images put to film. Apparently a number of pro skateboarders were used for that including Tony Hawk.
What?! I am truly at a loss for anything for this section. So I’m just going to go on a tear regarding the prank that plays a huge part in the Where?! and When?! sections. That’s the 1986 Mazda Gator Bowl. Sure it’s not really a product placement because it’s neither seen nor heard in the film, but it was the first time the Gator Bowl was sponsored in any capacity, so that’s kind of a fun fact.
Where?! This is a little strange because pretty much everything the Police Academy world is built on has them operating in an anonymous American city. However, as mentioned above we have a prank that distinctly features the 1986 Gator Bowl between Clemson and Stanford in Jacksonville, FL… so is Police Academy set in Jacksonville? Possibly. C-.
When?! Police Academy doesn’t just exist outside of space. It also exists outside of time. It is useless to dive too deep into this or waste effort on it. However… much like above if the events were to coincide with the 1986 Gator Bowl then we would have a Super Secret Almost Too Secret to Count Holiday Film Alert as that game took place two days after Christmas, so likely portions of the film would occur on Christmas. And before you even entertain any other possibilities: yes, that is the only time Clemson and Stanford have ever played. C-.
I really enjoy watching franchises. There are so many flavors. Last week we had a classic horror franchise that built lore while bringing the monster to the forefront. This time we have a classic megahit stretched for all its worth. Every film in the series basically rehashes the same formula that struck gold in the first, low-budget entry. Gutes is smirking, Winslow is beeping and booping, and somebody wants to stop them from succeeding. The further you get into the franchise the more the plot becomes tissue thin. Just squashed between random pranks, jokes, and Winslow’s sound effects (which I’m not sure actually counts as a joke). At this point Guttenberg’s love interest barely says a word or is given the time of day before she’s riding off into the sunset with him in a hot air balloon. They don’t need her to… you already know Gutes will be smooching on her, so who needs character development? You can really feel that by the fourth entry they simply had a series of dots that they were connecting in order to move onto the next one. No wonder they were able to make the first six films in less than five years (!). Overall I wasn’t offended by how terrible the film was or anything (although there are numerous actually offensive things in the series), but it is a terrible film. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! The Police Academy series is something of a marvel, four films with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Five films given a BOMB by Leonard Maltin. It might actually be the worst franchise ever made. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – We’re back babyyyyyy. We watched the first two Police Academy’s two years ago (I think, if you told me it was five years ago I probably wouldn’t be shocked, BMT just blends together at this point), and it was high time we started back in. By all accounts the later sequels are just the same unfunny garbage over and over with little plot. Excellent. What were my expectations? The same unfunny garbage over and over with little plot.
The Good – As far as an ensemble cast is concerned there is a good mix of 80s charm (Guttenberg), 80s tropes (Bubba Smith as a generic sports figure turned comedy actor, Sweetchuck as the nerd), and off the wall comedians like Bobcat and Winslow. As a first credit for David Spade he is quite good and you can see why he ended up being a solid comedy actor soon after. I wonder, given that he has the same origin as Guttenberg in the original police academy, put in the program in lieu of prison, if the intention was for the character to come back in the sequels … that didn’t work out. I guess what I’m saying is the only good thing in this film is the cast. Best Bit: The cast.
The Bad – I mean, it is unfunny garbage that is the same jokes over and over and there literally isn’t a plot. The Commandant wants to create a citizen police force because he feels like the police and citizens have a bad relationship. They do, despite the meddling of people who want the Commandant to fail. It blows up in their faces, but then, once some ninjas escape (totally true) they realize it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. The end. That’s the story. And I honestly can’t think of a single joke in the entire film I found funny. I can’t even think of a single joke from the film period. Fatal Flaw: It isn’t funny despite apparently being a comedy.
The BMT – We are getting there. By all accounts the fourth film is the jumping off point for the series to really go downhill. The next one is Miami, then City Under Siege, and then Russia … so they are really just blowing it out after this one. This can be remembered in BMT legend as the last reasonably sane Police Academy film. Oh and also for having the raddest skateboarding montage in history! It is out of nowhere and completely amazing. Do yourself a favor and watch this thing:
Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, it was unfunny garbage which drove the same bad jokes into the ground over and over until it unceremoniously ended.
Roast-radamus – I genuinely think this doesn’t qualify for any superlatives which is quite interesting, it is even in what is described as an unnamed city according to Wikipedia (it seems like Los Angeles, but that is probably not the case considering the giant waterfall nearby … so it is like a cross between Los Angeles and Toronto?). It is closest to BMT I think.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I think it is time for the long awaited Prequel to the entire Police Academy. We knew Mahoney as a lackadaisical petty-criminal-turned-prized-officer in the series, but what about those petty criminal days? Mahoney prowls the bodacious bods of the beach by day, and hustles the mean streets of Unnamed City by night. But when he witnesses a murder most foul, he gets roped into the detective business with straightlaced beat cop Carmichael Treech. What an odd couple! With Treech’s world weary tenacity, and Mahoney’s street smarts, they get all the baddies and save the day, hooray! No explanation is provided as to why, given Mahoney actually worked with the police department before, that this is never mentioned in any of the films. Don’t worry about it. That’s Mahoney: A Police Academy Story.
You Just Got Schooled – So previously on BMT we watched the first two films. This time around the third didn’t qualify (barely, hitting exactly 40%), so Police Academy 3: Back in Training had to be viewed separately. All of these films are the same. The third and fourth film are basically just the first film except with different motivations for why they are at the academy. Here they are there because Lessard needs them to help him save the Academy in a competition. Inexplicably both Zed (the bad guy from the second film) and Sweetchuck (an antiques dealer if memory serves) have now joined the force and are quite the odd couple / secret best friends. Literally, not a moment of this film is funny, but that isn’t much different than any of the sequels to the first film so … I guess carry on. This was merely an appetizer for the main course of four straight Police Academy films with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. D+. Not funny, but also not annoying enough to give an F I think.