THE POLICE ACADEMY FRANCHISE – 1984 – 1994


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#1

1984 – POLICE ACADEMY

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Welcome to Police Academy. A raunchy comedy following the exploits of a group of young recruits who in one way or another are normally unsuited for Police work. But obviously, they make it and the rest is history.

At least here, we have a film with a story, plot and character arcs… Unfortunately, this is where this trend comes to an abrupt end…

#2

1985 – POLICE ACADEMY 2: THEIR FIRST ASSIGNMENT

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Taking the story and characters away from the Academy, this is a reasonably well plotted sequel, but the story is thinner but the jokes may be getting better, though Steve Gutenberg’s Mahoney seems suddenly wasted and lazy. His arc was completed in the last film and he simply did not want to be here and it shows…

#3

1986 – POLICE ACADEMY 3: BACK IN TRAINING

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…but not as much as it does here. Mahoney is now the heroic character which the rest inexplicably  flock around. Other than that, he offers little else, instantly giving way to the characters established in the last movie, Howser, Proctor, Sweetchuck and Zed. This improved things somewhat, as of course does the ever growing predominance of Jones…

#4

1987 – POLICE ACADEMY 4: CITIZEN’S ON PATROL

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Well, this was Steve Gutenberg’s long overdue swansong. Despite being revered as the star of the show, he has had very little to do since the second outing and no character arc since the first. The real stars of this film are Zed, Tackleberry and “Motormouth” Jones. A movie very much of its time, with prolonged Tony Hawk Skateboarding sequences and a hot air balloon finale. By this point you just have to take these films as they are…

#5

1988 – POLICE ACADEMY 5: ASSIGNMENT: MIAMI BEACH

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Or, so we thought….

The absence of Steve Gutenberg can be felt, but since he went from star to vacuous tent pole during this series’ run, it shows what a sorry state this franchise is in. Eric Lassard takes center stage, something which seems to be a little out of place but this is the way the series is heading so we need to get used to it.

#6

1989 – POLICE ACADEMY 6: CITY UNDER SIEGE

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Defiantly time to give it up, but this was certainly an improvement from the last outing.

#7

1994 – POLICE ACADEMY: MISSION TO MOSCOW

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After a five year gap, as attempts go to try to reinvigorate a dead franchise, this is not that bad. Introducing new a whole set of young characters to open it up again would seem to be a good idea. The thing is that shows up just how old the the last set of “young” characters have gotten in just 10 years and how old the jokes have gone in that same period.

This was the end of the film franchise, though it would have its moments on the small screen in both animated form and a live action TV show in late 1990’s.

 

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