The old Commandant Lassard, leader of the Police Academy (1984), goes to Florida to receive an award. In the city arrives also the cynic Captain Harris who wants to take Lassard's job. ... See full summary »
A new batch of recruits arrives at Police Academy, this time a group of civilian volunteers who have joined Commandant Lassard's new Citizens on Patrol program. Although the community relations project has strong governmental support, a disgusted Captain Harris is determined to see it fail. Written by
Kevin Ackley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(at around 18 mins) When Copeland and his partner have Arnie and Kyle blocked off in the alley, Copeland's partner's voice is heard radioing Captain Harris, although his lips are not moving, nor does he even pick up the radio. See more »
Only halfway through, and things already feel stale
As was said in my review for 'Police Academy 3', The best of the 'Police Academy' films will always be the original by quite some way. It isn't great and will never be a favourite comedy or overall film of mine, but it clearly knew what it wanted to be so it was easy to take it for what it was and what it set out to do.
It was followed by six sequels, and none of them were as good or even on the same level as the first, though admittedly some are worse than others. Most of them are actually being pretty bad or worse and lose what was enjoyable about the original in the first place. Worse was to follow in the series than 'Police Academy 4', but it was from this point in particular when the 'Police Academy' series felt stale.
'Police Academy 4' is not entirely irredeemable, it has its moments. It is enlivened by the welcome and much needed presences of George Gaynes and returning (and much missed in the previous two sequels) G.W. Bailey. Bobcat Goldthwait also tries his best and doesn't try as too hard as in the third film.
These two also have the best very sporadic moments, the most coming from Gaynes while Bailey's Harris' deodorant/mace gag being the funniest the film got, mean-spirited of course but it was one of the few moments that were actually funny. The music is infectious enough, with the exception of the god awful "Let's Go to Heaven in My Car" (which got a deserved Razzie nomination, losing out to "I Want Your Sex" from 'Beverly Hills Cop II').
Most of the humour really doesn't work. A lot of it feels laboured, and much of it was an uncomfortable mix of gross smut and juvenile immaturity. Am aware this is 'Police Academy' we're talking about, where one shouldn't expect too much and not take it seriously, but this was intelligence-insulting dumbness without an ounce of energy to make it slightly more tolerable.
Story is even thinner than the previous three films and with the pacing being so leaden it was difficult to forgive. Too many of the subplots are not interesting at all and not that well paced or resolved.
Apart from Gaynes, Bailey and to a lesser extent Goldthwait, the rest of the cast are not worth mentioning. Steve Guttenberg completely goes through the motions and it was clear that he didn't want to do another film in the series. David Spade has been much funnier and better since in a poorly written role, and Sharon Stone is lifeless as a character that couldn't have been more thankless. Jim Drake's direction is not as inept as that of the previous film but it does lack momentum and it does nothing with making the incredibly cheap-looking production values look more appealing.
Overall, pretty weak and the series was showing signs of being particularly stale at this point, but worse was to follow. 3/10 Bethany Cox
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?