police_academy

Review: POLICE ACADEMY (1984)

by Meredith Grau
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Best Bad Quote:
“You dumb, fat jigga-boo!”
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Guttenberg: one of the most horrific tragedies of the twentieth century! Wait… Sorry, that’s “Hindenburg.” I get them confused… Yup, the Goot’ is (was) one interesting movie [star]. During the same era that Schwarzenegger and Stallone were defining the macho requirements of man-dom, Steve was right there beside them with his supple breasts and romantic tendrils. And just as in the childhood rhyme, “when he was Goot’, he was very, very Goot’; but when he was bad, he was awwwwful.” Case in point: POLICE ACADEMY.

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There are certain things in life we all look back on with regret. “Fie! How could we as a species be so ignorant?” Segregation, HUAC, pogs… This film is no exception. Boy, did we love us some Police Academy! Heck, our devotion spawned a TV series and six sequels. (You forgot about the “Mission to Moscow,” didn’t you)? To be fair, the recipe seems like gold. A cast of cooky characters behaving like the blatant stereotypes we all know to be truly emblematic of humanity AND performed with the unapologetic indulgence of the eighties to boot? Funny??? We are simpletons. In truth, these movies would be rendered totally useless in my opinion had they not eventually introduced me to Bobcat Goldthwait. Oh wait, he was in Scrooge too. Much better film. Yup. Useless!
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The plot of the initial Police Academy is thus: for some unknown reason, some daft politico has decided to slacken the requirements for one to join the prestigious police force. (There’s affirmative action at work for ya’, putting our safety in the hands of low-class fools)! Anywhoodle, Goot’ plays the wild and crazy Mahoney, who just doesn’t giving a flying f*ck. He’s a rebel. A reeeeeeaaal badass. After he parks a car on top of some other cars, strangely expecting no recompense, he is sent to the new Academy to be straightened out. And he’s not the only one. See, the real cops, the brass (badges) in charge, “don’t take too kindly to strangers,” and they make life hard on all of the recruits. Of course, Mahoney is totally unphased. He wants to get kicked out. Eff this place! He’s tough! He has a sleeveless shirt that says “One in the Oven!!!” I know, I don’t get it either…
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Along the way, Mahoney naturally does learn a thing or two, takes on some real responsibility, and decides to officially take the bull by the balls and become a cop, mostly because he wants to sleep with Kim Cattrall, who speaks in a strange Marilyn Monroesque whisper. It’s not her fault. She was young and hadn’t quite mastered that Samantha Jones confidence. By the end of the film, you are left with some moving impressions. It’s all about team work, standing up against The Man, and pointing out how funny it is when straight men are forced to interact with gay men. They WILL make you ballroom dance with them. That’s just the way it is. We all know this.
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In all honesty, the movie isn’t totally horrible, aside from the token, cheesy writing and senseless senselessness. The characters and the actors that play them are genuinely likable and their combined force is the sole reason, one assumes, that the franchise had any momentum to begin with. You have GW Bailey as the pug-faced, hard-ass, buffoon Lieutenant, Michael Winslow with his amazing robot noises, Bubba Smith as the white man’s nightmare (a large and intimidating black man), the bazooka-breasted taskmaster Leslie Easterbrook, and Marion Ramsey as the petite squeak-toy who finally finds her voice… behind a revolver! Oh, and then there’s Donovan Scott as the chubby, innocent, good guy. Also my former improv teacher. Awesome dude. Known for his Santa Claus impressions. (Hope I didn’t hurt your toes when I dropped that name).
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With all of these intriguing people rolled together, I wanted to like the movie. I enjoyed the spirit of it, as I celebrate the underdog, but it was mostly a wasted opportunity. I mean, you have an eclectic mix like this, you should do something with them! But, nay. It’s just dumb humor. And not good dumb. Bad dumb. Red rum. Yet, I laughed at it once. Stupid, soft-headed mini-Meredith… Anyway, stream sumthin’ else tonight. Don’t let Steve steer you wrong. Diner, this is not. It’s not even Three Men and a Baby. It’s just no Goot’.
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Rating:
2 out of 5 Guttennavels
police-academy-mahoney police-academy-mahoney
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