Police Academy

"Good"

Police Academy Review


You know how people talk about a movie being so bad it's good? Police Academy is that movie.

No, it is that movie. It embodies the badness-goodness paradox so fully that it spawned six sequels and two TV series (one animated)... so far.

Twenty years after its original release, you probably remember the original only from the heavily edited versions shown on low-rent cable stations and the sequels that turn up on Cinemax every month. Reminder time: The original is as raunchy and off-color as it is stupid: Not just laden with gratuitous nudity, but riddled with potty jokes and racist humor, too.

Police Academy is barely a real movie in the end. The bare bones story has an unnamed city declaring that police recruits no longer need any special qualifications: opening the door to every misfit in town who wants to join the force. The film is just a platform for retro, Porky's-style absurdity from these characters as they train for active duty. There's Kim Cattrall (before she got all famous) as a rich girl who wants to "help the people." Bubba Smith as an overgrown florist-cum-cop. David Graf is another giant, this one obsessed with guns. Michael Winslow's human beat box uses his mouth to get out of all sort of sticky situations (noto bene: his Larvell is the only character to appear in all nine installments of the film). And Steve Guttenberg is their ringleader, a punk sentenced to the academy as a form of punishment.

The cops of course want nothing to do with this, and the inimitable G.W. Bailey does everything to stand in their way, army sargeant style. His weenie nature (and annoying dog) opens the door for all manner of high jinks.

That's about it. In the end there is of course a "mission" -- the cadets have to control a riot in progress on what appears to be the cheesiest back lot at Warner Brothers. Do we care? Not at all, as long as Winslow starts making funny sounds with his mouth again. Or someone gives the commandant (George Gaynes) another blowjob. Or Amazon Sgt. Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook) takes off her shirt.

You get the picture. There's nothing -- absolutely, positively nothing -- to Police Academy. But that's why it serves as our most timeless reminder of what the 1980s were really like: Pointless, juvenile, and obsessed with the beat.

Check out the DVD's extras if for no other reason than to see on the retrospective documentary how good Easterbrook still looks today. The commentary track is what we've come to expect: B-list actors all begging for work. Classic.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedies

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd March 1984

Box Office Worldwide: $81.2M

Budget: $4.5M

Distributed by: Warner Home Video

Production compaines: The Ladd Company, Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Cadet Carey Mahoney, as Cadet Karen Thompson, G. W. Bailey as Lt. Thaddeus Harris, as Cadet Moses Hightower, as Cadet Leslie Barbara, as Cmndt. Eric Lassard, as Cadet George Martín, as Cadet Eugene Tackleberry, as Sgt. Debbie Callahan, as Cadet Larvelle Jones, as Mrs. Fackler, as Cadet Douglas Fackler, as Capt. Reed, as Cadet Chad Copeland, Brant von Hoffman as Cadet Kyle Blankes, Marion Ramsey as Laverne Hooks

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