Saturday, March 5, 2011

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Comedy, USA, 1987; D: Jim Drake, S: Steve Guttenberg, Michael Winslow, Bobcat Goldthwait, Tim Kazurinsky, G.W. Bailey, Lance Kinsey, Bubba Smith, David Graf, Leslie Easterbrook, Tab Thacker, David Spade, Billie Bird, Marion Ramsey, Sharon Stone

Police Academy's Commandant Lassard creates a new programme, "Citizens on Patrol" (COP), where normal civilians would be recruited by the police and trained as a support to fight against a new crime wave. Mahoney, Jones, Callahan, Zed, Sweetchuck and the others thus train the new recruits, while Captain Harris can't wait to somehow undermine the whole project. The idea is indeed canceled, but when some criminals escape from jail, the COP volunteers are the key players who manage to save the day.

Every new "Police Academy" film was worse than the previous (except maybe part 6), and following this trend part 4 turned into such a thin and vague flick that it was barely watchable, appropriately standing in the middle of the series and dividing it between the tolerable and the intolerable half. Writer Gene Quintano did not really invest any effort in the script and thus this sparsely comical movie roughly followed all the worn-out structures of the "Police Academy" series, including the one where a bad guy (this time Captain Harris) gives a hard time to the police officers, who thus take revenge in various "Tom & Jerry" pranks, a concept that was already poor in the first film - these and other omissions would eventually cause a mass exodus of the actors from the series in part 5. However, the skateboard sequence was somehow neat, one Harris-Mahoney dialogue was amusing ("Did someone ever tell you that you are a small piss-ant?" - "No one whose opinion matters.") whereas Tim Kazurinsky's character Sweetchuck and Bobact Goldthwait's Zed appear here for the last time and still offer that 'daft charm' - Sweetchuck in the scene where he wipes pigeon feces on his shoe off another police officer's trousers and Zed in the scene where he is playing guitar at the pond, his wannabe girlfriend talks to him while a duck is heard quacking in the background, and he suddenly says: "Shut up!" like a demented lunatic; she becomes quiet but he says: "No, not you, I meant the duck!"


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