Police Academy’s back, Jack! And boy are they ready for some fun in the sun. When Cmdt. Lassard is the honored guest at the big Miami police convention, the gang is invited along. But when they inadvertently get in the way of some diamond smugglers, things get hairy. Can they stop the burglars before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach.
How?! I think I just kinda summarized it. Cmdt. Lassard is wildly popular at this point, thanks to the success of his academy and his adoring pupils. But Capt. Harris (boooo) finds a law on the books that suggests Lassard is past the age for required retirement (double booo). But no before he gets honored with the Police Officer of the Decade (yay). He insists that his best officers come along (minus the Gutes) and so they are ready to live it up in Miami Beach. Hijinks ensue as Lassard inadvertently picks up a bag of stolen diamonds from a gang of burglars. Uh oh! Arriving in Miami they meet Nick, Lassard’s nephew and a definite Gutes type character, and partake in all kinds of beach/police convention fun. Oh and Harris totally embarrassing himself like a bozo, naturally. Anyway, the jewel thieves try all kinds of ways to get the diamonds back, but with their necks on the line they eventually resort to kidnapping Lassard, who mistakes it as the annual police procedure demonstration. Lassard totally charms the thieves, who start to regret their kidnapping ways, and even helps them acquire a helicopter to get them to the everglades where they are meant to hand off the diamonds. Fortunately our gang is there and they jump on some fan boats and totally take out all the baddies. Due to his heroics Lassard is allowed to stay on as Commandant and Hightower is promoted. THE END.
Why?! The films certainly fluctuate between entries that are more like regular films (having some gang the police must take out or something like that) and then those that are more just things happening around the academy. This is certainly the latter. This mostly involves the impending retirement of Lassard and everyone celebrating him in Miami. The diamond plot is really tangential to all this, but creates enough drama to give us the classic chase/fight climax we know and love from Police Academy.
Who?! The Producer of the film makes a few uncredited appearances in the film. Here he shows up as a homeless man. IMDb also lists Jerry O’Connell as having appeared as a kid on the beach… not sure I believe that. That feels very much like someone saw a kid that looked like Jerry O’Connell in the beach scene and added him to IMDb.
What?! I would dare to say that this is likely the best MacGuffin of the series in the stolen diamonds. I wonder if there is a reverse correlation between strength of plot and strength of MacGuffin. This really, really needed that MacGuffin to get the tissue paper thin plot from Point A to Point Miami Beach.
Where?! This whole series has been a disaster in terms of settings since they have always purposefully set it in an anonymous US city. Not so fast, says Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach. May as well call it Assignment A+ Setting Alert cause that’s what we got on our hands.
When?! Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Who knows when any of these things are set. I guess I could see when the national police convention is… oh, now I guess. Like literally starting as I type this. That’s a weird coincidence. So there you have it. This is set in early September. Nailed it. F.
This is probably the closest the series came to dropping the pretense of plot in favor of people tripping over golf balls and Capt. Harris being lit on fire and stuff. If this was the first in the series I probably would have been like “WTF, mate? Put more shrimp on the barbie,” but this represents exactly why I like watching franchises so much. You get so deep into Police Academy that you just let it wash over you and wait for Winslow to pull out his problematic kung fu impression for the third straight movie. They clearly got to the point where they had so many characters and repeat gags that they could pretty much craft an entire film from just that. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it BMT? I’m not sure what it is really… it just exists. It’s kind of crazy that it does. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! The whole gang is back. We’ve got Tackleberry! We’ve got Hightower! We’ve got … wait … uh oh, where’s Mahoney? Uh, this ain’t good. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – I don’t think I realized until we got to these last three films in the series just how much cred the series as a whole has. These last three films all have a BMeTric over 70. They all have a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. And they all got BOMBs from Leonard Maltin. That is mind-bending. What it must have been like to actually experience the six straight years of Police Academy films coming out … it must have been like some sick joke. What were my expectations? I think for the fifth one I expected it to be Police Academy in Miami and thus have a ton of bad Miami jokes and not much else. These films really aren’t that complicated.
The Good – Huh, maybe some bits of the ending where Lassard thinks the whole thing is just a simulation and so he’s getting along with the mafia guys? That was faintly amusing. The few times where you could see Lassard physically press down on a fake golf club to deploy a dumb golf ball goof. Wait … do I just like Commandant Lassard? Best Bit: Commandant Lassard I guess, it is kind of the only amusing thing in the film.
The Bad – I mean … is this a movie? I swear to god there was a 30 minute stretch in the middle of the film where they just roll out the greatest hits of Police Academy’s past but in Miami. I affectionately refer to this as: Hightower smashes, Hicks yells, Tackleberry shoots, and Jones does a racist impression of a Japanese person. Usually there would also be a “Mahoney sexually assaults”, but he wasn’t in this film, that part was instead given to the new character Nick Lassard (and assaults he does!). Anyways, the film basically doesn’t have a plot. I can describe it in a sentence: Lassard is retiring and so is given an award in Miami where he accidentally steals a diamond from the mafia, nonsense ensues. Fatal Flaw: Written on a napkin during the Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol premiere afterparty.
The BMT – At a point while contemplating the Police Academy franchise I transcended the plane of existence and saw it all. It must be the quintessential bad comedy franchise. Even the progression is cliche: (1) Initial blockbuster, (2) on the streetz, (3) back to the academy, (4) new blood, (5) different city, (6)???, (7) foreign country. Only six is an anomaly, but we’ll get to that in that recap. There is something very pure about the fact that they released the first six films in six years. That will never ever be replicated again. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah. In a way it exceeded them, because watching a few in a short period of time really allows you to see just how odd the whole endeavor was.
Roast-radamus – Obviously a great A+ Setting (Where?) for Miami, which snuck into the title. And a really solid MacGuffin (Why?) for the stolen diamonds that Lassard accidentally gets ahold of and the bad guys chase throughout the film. Definitely closest to BMT, you can’t deny the franchise is so bizarre as to be amusing.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Uh oh … how do you do a sequel or prequel to a franchise with seven entries. I guess here I’ll think through the Remake since the eighth film only makes sense within the context of reviewing the sixth and seventh. I have to imagine you could remake Police Academy by making it like 21 Jump Street … actually, that’s the answer right? You make it the third 21 Jump Street film! Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube are put in charge of the Police Academy in their city because they think there is a drug ring operating out of it. Unfortunately, since Hill and Tatum are now famous cops in the Jump Street crew, they can’t go undercover, but instead are installed as teachers. Inside, a rag tag set of recruits tagged as “unacceptable” (Jones, Hicks, Hightower, and Mahoney) are their eyes and ears on the ground. All the while they are fighting the nefarious Lieutenant Harris who is trying to oust an increasingly annoyed Ice Cube (who is undercover as Commandant Lassard, the head of the Police Academy). I dare say? Does it work? 23 Jump Street: Police Academy. I think “fans” of the franchise would be angry, but that is maybe the best option for an actual Police Academy “remake” possible.