Sunday, 1 September 2013

Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986)

Third times a charm as we head back to the Police Academy for more training with yet more new recruits. Yep once again the best of the boys in blue are called back to campus to help out Lassard. Pretty much all the cast are back again (impressive) as this time Lassard and his favourites must battle Mauser and his own recruits.

Confused? well I don't blame ya, it appears that from out of nowhere there are now two police academies in this fictional city. One we all know of and the other run by Mauser, despite the fact this was never mentioned in the previous two films by anyone including Mauser. So both academies are pitched against each other as the city can't afford to run both and one must go. Not too sure why Mauser's cadets are dressed in military type uniforms though, surely they'd all be the same.

This equals the same spiel as we got in the first film, and when I say the same I mean the same. Almost all the new recruit sequences from the first film are reenacted yet again in this films beginning. Now you may think this sounds like poor writing but its actually quite neat. For example in the first film we saw Fackler's wife trying to stop him from going to the academy, in this film the sequence is reversed and we see Fackler trying to stop his wife. We also get a role reversal for Goldthwait as Zed the gang leader from the second film plus Sweetchuck is back for them to continue their little comedy duo. We even see the return of Tackleberry's girlfriends wacky family, gotta give it to the continuity in these films.

The film does admittedly consist of the same kind of thing we saw in the first film really, the recruits going through the same training that we've seen before like martial arts with Jones, high speed driving, voice commands etc...all on the same location as the first film too! so there's a lot of deja vu. Again like previous films there are pratfalls and gags, this time the main one being Mauser losing his eyebrows and having to wear women's makeup for the rest of the film. Again I can't deny its quite funny and made all the more funny by the brilliant Art Metrano once again.

Metrano is brilliant again and Kinsey plays off him well as Proctor, these two are still one of the best things in the franchise for this film and the second.

These films are extremely formulaic, identikit films really (hey it seemed to work), all the usual buffoonery eventually leads to the big showdown sequence in the finale where the new recruits prove themselves against the odds. This time its a water based chase sequence with jet ski's, motorboats and absolutely loads of people falling into the water. Guess what...they win, save the day and all become fine police officers whilst keeping Lassard's academy alive.

Everything you would expect is here just to keep people interested in their favourite characters. Despite the usual fluff this is probably the last decent PA film before things just get a bit too factory line conveyor belt crapola. The plot isn't too bad, having all the training again is a bit tired but the two academies fighting each other is a nice angle and the finale is hokey as hell but it looks quite good, they know how to make a set piece look good. The first film to get a PG rating but it manages to keep its head above the water.