- Movie Rating -

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol

| April 3, 1987

Watching the Police Academy movies, for me, is like having a five-year-old tell me a joke.  It’s not very funny, it goes on forever, it has no point but I appreciate the energy, if not the effort.  I have seen all four of these things and, much like the Friday the 13th pictures, I really can’t tell one from the other.  There was one joke I remember about a guy who was so slovenly that he threw his socks at a locker and they were apparently so soiled that they stuck to the locker like a magnet.  I liked that joke.  It made me laugh.  Can’t recall which movie it was.

I saw Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol just this morning.  It started a day in which I had three other movies to see as well, all movies that I remember better than this one.  The plot had something to do with George Gains’ weak-kneed Commandant Lassard coming up with the idea of training ordinary people from the neighborhood as police officers to rid the city of crime.  This is basically an excuse for a lot of silly spot gags involving the usual gang of dimwits and goofballs played by a cast of people that have been culled from comedy clubs and TV shows, among them Steve Guttenberg, Marion Ramsey, Leslie Easterbrook, Bob Goldthwaite, Tim Kazurinsky, Brian Tochi, David Graf, Billie Bird, David Spade, Tab Thacker, Michael McManus, Colleen Camp, Corinne Bohrer, all of whom have been funny elsewhere.

But the one who leaves them all behind is Michael Winslow, a former stand-up comedian who is my solitary reason for wanting to keep coming back to this series.  His schtick is making sounds with his mouth and his vocal chords, like a one-man foley machine.  He can imitate everything from a beat box, to a machine gun, to a video game, to a helicopter to a newborn baby to horse flatulence.  His specialty though is his imitation of a badly-dubbed karate movie, one in which the words completely miss the actor’s lips.

I first caught sight of Winslow in the corners of a few of Cheech and Chong’s movies.  I remember a bit where he played a mental patient imitating Jimmi Hendrix.  I don’t know.  He’s funny.  He was funny then and he’s been funny in these movies.  Here he has a bit where the new recruits are doing exercise but the boombox has no cassette so he provides the music.  It’s funny.  I wish the whole movie had been his.  Come to think of it, it kind of is.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1987) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy