Another day, another Police Academy movie. Back in the day, it was more like another year, another movie because these movies were coming out every year. While this can sometimes be considered a good thing, as it keeps the product in the audiences mind, it also runs the risk of making it stale because you are getting the same thing on a constant basis. Luckily, the series had not quite jumped the shark at this point in the game so let’s have a few laughs with today’s movie, Police Academy 3: Back In Training.
The plot: Late at night, Commandant Mauser and Lt. Proctor meet up with Sergeants Kyle Blankes and Chad Copeland in a parking garage. Mauser explains to them that the governor is planning on closing down one of the city’s police academies and he wants them to ensure that Lassard’s academy is the one that gets shut down. Blankes and Copeland quickly agree and the two pairs go to leave but when they get to the exit, Mauser and Proctor find that the garage has closed. They get out of the car and try to move the arm but when the car starts rolling down the ramp, the arm swings open, slamming Mauser into the wall, while Proctor tries to stop the car but it ends up crashing into Blankes and Copeland’s car. The next day at the graduation ceremony for the two academies, Governor Neilson announces that one of the academies will be closing down and that he has appointed a committee to review each academy and determine which one is closed. After the ceremony, Mauser attempts to suck up to the committee but as he attempts to suck up to Neilson, Sgt. Jones embarrasses him by making it sound like he is belching while he speaks. Realizing he will need some help, Lassard contacts Sergeants Mahoney, Hightower, Hooks, and Tackleberry and has them come back to the Academy to help Jones and Lt. Callahan with the training. Among the new recruits is Sgt. Fackler’s wife (against Fackler’s wishes), Tackleberry’s brother-in-law Bud, Sweetchuck (the timid businessman from the previous movie), and the reformed gang leader Zed. Meanwhile, Mauser is going over his recruits but when he sees Tomoko Nogata, part of an international exchange program to learn American police methods, Mauser sends him to Lassard’s academy in the hopes he will help ruin them. When Nogata’s taxi arrives at the academy, the cab driver tries to charge him $700 but Karen Adams, a new recruit as well, calls him out on it and Mahoney and Hightower get involved and chase the guy off. Afterwards, Mahoney tries to hit on Adams but she stops him and says she is serious about being a police officer. As the new cadets are given their room assignments, Sweetchuck and Zed end up being roommates and start off on the wrong foot, with Zed keeping him up all night. Hearing the commotion, Blankes and Copeland take them outside and tell them to police the yard, saying they will be keeping watch to make sure the flashlights keep moving but Zed attaches the flashlights to the collars of two dogs, who start wrestling around the yard and allowing Zed and Sweetchuck to get some sleep. As the training begins, the committee is evaluating Lassard’s academy first, and Blankes and Copeland do their part to make the cadets look bad, such as having them jog through the city at 3 in the morning. During a self defense class, Jones has his instructor teach the class and Nogata is pushed forward by Zed when they ask for volunteers. Nogata is able to hold his own against the instructor, which impresses Callahan and she tells Nogata that but he becomes tongue-tied with her and comments about her breasts and as she walks off, Nogata goes to Jones for help. Meanwhile, Sweetchuck is still being tormented by Zed and considers quitting but Tackleberry catches him as he tries to leave and convinces him to stay. Some time later, Mauser meets with Blankes and Copeland and tells them to take the cadets in the field and when Blankes says they are not ready for field work, Mauser says he knows that and tells them the committee will be downtown at the precincts so he wants the cadets to embarrass themselves even further. When Blankes takes the cadets downtown, against Mahoney’s wishes, one of them, Hedges, accidentally turns the lights on as a witness is making an ID of a hold-up suspect. Later, Zed is escorting one of the committee members when they are picked up by his old gang and are driven away, while two more committee members are in the car with Hooks and Fackler when they get in a wreck while chasing a suspect. That night, Mahoney, Jones, and several cadets are drinking at a bar when Mauser and Proctor come in and mock them for how poorly they are doing. Mahoney decides to get even by pranking Mauser and convinces Mauser to try a taste test, then uses some tape as a blindfold, which results in Mauser’s eyebrows being ripped off when Proctor removes the tape. The next day, Lassard gives a speech to the cadets to try and motivate them and some time later, Mahoney gives a speech of his own. Adams is impressed by Mahoney’s speech and goes to apologize and Mahoney continues to flirt with her. Meanwhile, Nogata goes to talk with Jones and get some love advise, then heads to Callahan’s room to use a pick-up line on her, which seems to work. The next night at the policeperson’s ball, Lassard and Mahoney both run into the hooker they know (from the first movie) and when Proctor mocks Lassard’s academy, Mahoney decides to use her to get revenge on Proctor. The hooker seduces Proctor and takes him up to her room, but then leaves him stranded naked out in the hallway. Proctor makes his way out of the hotel and finds a car with the keys inside so he steals it so he can get home but when it breaks down, he is forced to hide to avoid a police cruiser and ends up accidentally walking into the back door of the Blue Oyster Bar. Back at the ball, Mauser continues sucking up to the governor and the committee and Hurst finally tells him that he is winning. Hearing that, Mauser heads over to Lassard’s table to gloat but Mahoney gives a speech saying the committee should ignore the first few weeks of training and focus on the last weeks when it really matters, then places the microphone in a pitcher of water and Mauser shocks himself when he retrieves it. On the final day of evaluation, Blankes and Copeland use a remote to try and sabotage Hook’s computer systems, sending cars to the wrong locations but they end up dropping it and when Hooks realizes what they were doing, she knocks them both out. Meanwhile, Neilson is attending an event at a yacht club and has one cadet from each academy accompany him, though Mauser cheats and sends 2. When Hedges sees the wait staff donning masks and guns, he radios it in but is quickly captured. Lassard tells Mahoney to forget the evaluation and go help Hedges so the gang head to the harbor, then uses jet skis and a speed boat to head to the yacht club. While Lassard’s team begins to deal with the crooks, the thieves’ leader takes Neilson hostage and escapes in a speed boat, with Mahoney and Adams in pursuit. With the other crooks taken care of, Jones and some of the other cadets and officers go help Mahoney and Adams. Mauser and Proctor, thinking it was a hoax at first, realize something is wrong and eventually make their way to the marina but they end up getting knocked out of their canoe when the chase passes them. Mahoney manages to jump into the speedboat to help Neilson and they end up crashing back into the yacht club. When everyone goes to check on them, Mahoney and Neilson stand up to reveal that they are ok and everyone starts cheering. Due to the events at the yacht club, Lassard’s academy is declared the winner and Lassard thanks his instructors and cadets for helping him preseve his legacy at the academy and as the cadets parade past the stage, they all salute Lassard, Neilson, Chief Hurst, and the committee.
Police Academy 3: Back In Training met with mixed to negative reviews, holding a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics were more favorable to this movie as opposed to it’s predecessor, but the majority still felt the humor was too sophomoric. While the unnamed city in the movies is somewhere in the U.S., the movie was actually filmed in Toronto, Canada and there are several times where that leaks through; mostly in some background objects such as a Toronto Sun paper box being seen when Fackler crashes the police car or the grid map Hooks is showing being of Toronto. This was the first movie in the franchise to be listed as PG, with the subsequent sequels following suit, and was also a box office success, earning $43.5 million at the box office.
This was always one of my favorite movies in the series. The acting was good, with the returning cast doing a great job. The pairing of Bobcat Goldthwait (Zed) and Tim Kazurinsky (Sweetchuck) was even better in this movie and Brian Tochi (Nogata) was very funny in his interactions with Callahan and Jones. The story was good, with a decent mix of comedy while adding the backstabbing element of Mauser, Blankes, and Copeland during the competition. The comedy didn’t have as much slapstick as the earlier movies, mostly relying on more situational comedy with some play on words to go with it. Still, this was a solid entry in the series and a fun movie to watch.
Rating: 3 out of 5