PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):
The police must investigate a series of robberies along a strip of land in the city. The Mayor (Kenneth Mars) assigns Captain Harris (G.W. Bailey) and Lt. Proctor (Lance Kinsey) to the case, but while on stakeout the Wilson gang manages to slip through their fingers. The Mayor wants Harris and Proctor to work with Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes) on apprehending the gang. Lassard assembles a seven-man team consisting of Hightower (Bubba Smith), Tackleberry (David Graf), Jones (Michael Winslow), Hooks (Marion Ramsey), Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook), Fackler (Bruce Mahler), and Lassard’s nephew, Nick (Matt McCoy). After distributing flyers as to the information of the Wilson gang and getting nowhere, Nick stumbles upon a paper heading of an antique diamond heading to a museum, and gets an idea to use it as bait: however the robbers nab the diamond anyway by cutting a hole in the truck and escaping through the sewer system. McCoy then decides to go undercover to get information regarding a possible hideout, but Harris decides to go undercover to get a confession. It turns out that Harris goes undercover as a window washer at a tall building, for which he has a fear of height, and gets a confession of himself on tape after Proctor accidentally knocks him over the balcony. The robberies are committed by a group of three dimwitted criminals who do not seem to be able to do this on their own, and it is revealed they are being guided by a literally shadow figure known as the “Mastermind”, who speaks to the three behind a wall of glass and uses a voice distortion device. He devises a plan to get the cops out of the way. Commandant Lassard and his men are later suspended after drugs are planted in Lassard’s locker, pending an investigation. The gang decides to clear his name by nabbing the gang and the ringleader. Accessing data files from a computer, Nick deduces that the robberies are occurring along a bus route, thus intentionally lower property values in that part of the city. They also learn that someone must be ‘leaking’ information to the bad guys, which is why they are always one step ahead of the Police Academy. The Police Academy force finds and does battle with the Wilson gang, while Nick chases the leader. A pursuit follows, which leads to Commissioner Hearst’s (George Robertson) office. It is revealed that the Mayor is the “Mastermind” and that Captain Harris has been unwittingly leaking information during his daily meetings with the Mayor. Hearst apologizes and reinstates the force, and a plaque is given to honor the officers’ bravery the next day. As the movie closes, Harris is sitting in a chair when a string tying the balloon float is cut, lifting his chair and floating him up into the air as he shouts Proctor’s name.
Well, here we are on the 6th entry into the Police Academy franchise. I wish I could say that they’ve gotten progressively better, but that just isn’t the case. If anything, they’ve gotten worse.
I’m not going to even waste time on writing a lengthy review of this one, because, for the most part the plot is the same. The only difference is that there is no academy to be seen in this film, and the primary villain is an evil mastermind who isn’t seen (if you were a fan of Saturday morning cartoons in the 80s, you may recognize his voice).
Everything else is the same. The film opens with Harris and Proctor doing something make Lassard look bad, but it backfires. We meet the criminals. Then we find out what the major plot point of the film is. Then we get some hijinks from the officers, mostly directed towards Harris. Of course, we have to have a scene with Tacklberry and his triggerhappiness, Jones and his sounds, Hightower being intimidating, Hooks being the shy little violet she is, Fackler being the complete klutz he is, and of course one (2 in this one actually) where Callahan is making men faun all over her. Finally, we spend the last 30 minutes or so chasing after the villains, only to conclude with some sort of awards ceremony that is culminated with more hijinks directed at Harris.
So, as you see, the formula hasn’t changed. I’m not really one to mess with something if it works, but there comes a point when you need to change something.
This may actually be the strongest plot of the series, but that plus is negated by all the above mentioned repetition.
Needless to say, this is not may favorite entry into the franchise. Having said that, I think it was stronger than its predecessor. There just is too much recycled material. You know what they say, “You can’t beat a dead horse”. Well, they’re definitely beating the hell out of this horse. I’m tempted to not even bother with the last entry in the franchise and just say stop after #3, because that’s about where they jumped the shark, but then my OCD would get the better of me. That’s neither here not there, just know that this is not a horrible film, but everything has been done before, and better, in previous entires. The villains are the high point, especially Mastermind, so if you musty see it, there’s the selling point.
2 out of 5 stars