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 <email@example.com>
Commandant Lassard heads off the cuff to leave Captain Harris in charge of general public.
The fourth instalment in the Police Academy franchise gets by more on the charisma of the characters and goodwill of audiences than it does on the material but it's passable entertainment that lets you feel as if you've spent some time with good friends as the end credits roll. In fact, it's the last one to feel that way because there are a number of characters here making their final appearance in the series (with Steve Guttenberg's Mahoney being, arguably, the biggest loss that the following sequels could never really compensate for).
Our gang of misfits return to help Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes) once more, this time training members of the public for his new and innovative Citizens On Patrol scheme (COP, see?). Captain Harris (G. W. Bailey) returns to be a pain in the backside, as does Proctor (Lance Kinsey), and we get the usual mix of pranks and dirty tricks played out before a finale involving some jailbreakers and fancy aerial acrobatics.
Gaynes, Guttenberg, Bailey, Kinsey, David Graf, Michael Winslow, Bubba Smith, Leslie Easterbrook, Marion Ramsey, Tim Kazurinsky, Bobcat Goldthwait, Scott Thomson and all of the others on screen who have appeared in any of the preceding movies do just fine, continuing to milk as many laughs as possible from their comedy characters. There's a role for an attractive young actress by the name of Sharon Stone, the film debut of David Spade, some enjoyable skateboard stuntwork (featuring Tony Hawk) and roles for Brian Backer, Billie Bird, Corinne Bohrer and Randall "Tex" Cobb, among others.
The script is again by Gene Quintano (as this was supposed to be filmed back to back with the third movie before the declining health, and subsequent death, of director Jerry Paris) and Jim Drake gets to sit in the director's chair.
There aren't that many big laughs (though one prank involving a portaloo is as funny as it is ridiculous) but things roll along merrily enough and the familiarity of the cast and signposted gags make this an enjoyable and undemanding viewing choice.
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