Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1984)





















Fifth times a charm? well actually this film does get back on track somewhat after the terrible fourth. The first Academy film without Guttenberg as the wet ass Mahoney, so we get another Mahoney-esque character in Nick Lassard...cos they need that all round good looking good guy who pesters/stalks the sexy women in these films.

The plot is quite straight forward as usual, Cmdt Lassard is up for retirement (after Harris brought it to everyone's attention) and is being given a heroes send off in Miami. So off he goes with his regular band of loyal officers. Everything gets spoilt though when an accidental bag switch with some criminals equals Lassard having some stolen jewels and the criminals getting his pet goldfish.

While this still continues the trend of a PG film there is still a reasonable amount of fun to be had with the highjinx. The plot being set in Miami of course equals lots of obligatory tanned ladies in bikini's and cliched poolside slapstick. While its not dirty or seedy its relatively easy going and watchable which is surprisingly really. I think this film is much closer to a Pink Panther type film with the trio of incompetent criminals trying to nab Lassard's bag, that combined with the standard predictable pranks on Harris.



Once again though we have the repetitive training aspect of these films...yes again. Because the guys are at a convention for Lassard's award there is yet more police procedural demonstrations which once again gives all the characters the chance to demonstrate their quirky skills. Tackleberry and his guns, voice commands with Hooks....do I really need to go through this again? The only new addition to the team this time is Thacker as Conklin from the previous film, as you may have already guessed his huge weight comes into effect for some visual gags.

This time around its actually the bad guys that save the day in my opinion. Usually its Harris and Proctor who are still good fun here but the trio of crooks are admittedly amusing. There is a really nice air of quality slapstick with these guys, especially the boss played by Rene Auberjonois whose obsession with his hair and nasal voice make for a perfect greasy bad guy. His two sidekicks are both kinda dumb and your standard heavy handed mobster types but there is a credible Three Stooges act going on there.

This doesn't excuse a lot of childish crap though, you know they are starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel when they actually use a fart in the elevator joke. Then there's the old drugged unconscious gag with Harris, setting his straw hat on fire, writing 'dork' on his chest with sunblock and a really nasty 'Jaws' send up.

The finale is yet again another chase sequence on water (clearly run out of ideas) with all the predictable stuff that you'd expect to see on water. Again it does look good as a visual spectacle as do most of the PA chase sequences, but its so very hollow and comes across more like a stunt man's show. Everything is tied up in a neat little bow with Lassard being allowed to carry on for another hundred years or so despite the fact he's useless and all is good with the world again.

Its very very bland and very very hokey, most of it is performed and filmed like an instructional video on how to make (attempt) slapstick, but from the third film onwards we know that don't we. Despite all that its a fairly enjoyable romp and is certainly better than the fourth film, at least we get a breath of fresh air with the location. I do like how they do the films titles each time though, quite like this one in particular.

5/10