comedy, crime, movie, movie review

May 6th, 2017 Movie – Police Academy: Mission To Moscow

police academy 7

The final movie in the franchise is actually one that I did not even know existed until years after it was made. See, years ago, I was channel surfing at my parents house when I happened upon a movie with Michael Winslow in a police uniform. Now, the only thing I could think of was that this was a Police Academy movie but when Christopher Lee appeared on screen, I was a bit confused because I didn’t recall seeing Christopher Lee in any of the movies. Now, I didn’t get a chance to watch the whole movie at that time but I kept my eye out for another chance, it just never happened. So here is today’s movie, Police Academy: Mission To Moscow.

The plot: During the evening news, the female anchor is reporting on the story of alleged Russian Mafia leader Konstantine Konali marketing the newest addictive video game, called The Game, which he co-anchor happens to be playing on his Gameboy, causing the two anchors to fight when she tries to take it away from him. In Moscow, Konali is standing outside the Kremlin and declares that one day, it will all be his while inside, the Russian Prime Minister is on the phone with Commandant Rakov demanding to know what to do about capturing Konali. Rakov says he will call in a favor to Commandant Eric Lassard, who had some dealings with Konali when he tried to set up a branch of the Russian Mafia in America. At the Police Academy, Lassard is checking on the new recruits and his head trainer says that this might be the best class except for one man, Cadet Connors. Meanwhile, Connors is helping a classmate fix her computer when he accidentally sees the mission plans for Lassard to go to Moscow and seeing a classmate on the list, he decides to put his name in the file instead but before he can fix it, he is called away. Connors attempts to pass the rope climb but fails due to his fear of heights so his sergeant hands him his discharge form to take to Lassard. In his office, Lassard is telling Captain Callahan, Sgt. Jones, and Sgt. Tackleberry about their mission when Connors walks in. Lassard greets him, thinking he is there for the mission briefing but when he goes to explain, he trips over the cord for a listening device and Callahan, Jones, Tackleberry, and Lassard pull on it to reveal Captain Harris, who Lassard says will be joining them also. The group fly to Moscow, where they are greeted by Rakov, who introduces them to Lt. Talinsky, the head of their organized crime division, and Katrina, who will act as their translator and liaison. Rakov leaves to handle some other matters, placing the Americans in Talinsky’s care but due to a misunderstanding, Lassard ends up riding in a hears that is on it’s way to a funeral. Talinsky, trying to cover for his mistake, pays a bellhop to stay in Lassard’s room and simply say that he is in the bathroom and will join them later whenever someone knocks on the door. The group head to Rakov’s office, where he brief them on the locations that Konali is known to frequent. Meanwhile, Konali is holding a meeting at his restaurant and has a programmer named Adam brought to him. Konali tells Adam that he wants him to create a passkey that will let him access any computer, then tells him he plans to create a new game, called The New Game, and have the passkey installed on it, allowing him to access any computer that the game is installed on. Konali then notices the news article about Lassard coming to Moscow and tells his brother and his men to find him. Elsewhere, the group is taken to Moscow’s Police Academy, and as they are looking around, Katrina approaches Connors and asks for his help. Connors thinks she wants to be alone with him but in reality, she wants to take the vacation she had planned before she was assigned to them and shows him the replacement she picked out for them. She then asks Connors to talk to Talinsky about granting her vacation but Connors, wanting to spend more time with Katrina, tells Talinsky she is doing a great job. When Callahan calls out Talinsky over the lack of cooperation he is giving them, Talinsky offers them the services of three of his men, and acrobatic trio of bumbling officers. Callahan, Jones, Tackleberry, and Connors decide to take matters into their own hands and call out Konali. Posing as construction worker, Callahan prevents some of Konali’s men from shaking down the foreman. Tackleberry, Connors, and Katrina head to Konali’s sauna, which Katrina says is actually a front for his fencing operation but they don’t see any evidence of that when they look around. Meanwhile, Harris decides to go on his own to bug Konali’s restaurant and, after some mishaps through the sewers, he overhears Konali putting a hit out on Lassard and his team. Two of Konali’s men try to take out Jones while he is doing bike tricks at a park but they are stopped by an old woman, who hits the gunman with her bag. Meanwhile, Katrina and Connors are watching Konali’s restaurant and Katrina is complaining about not being on vacation so Connors asks her out in order to cheer her up. Katrina agrees and they go to a circus and Katrina tells Connors that she knows he lied to Talinksy and to get even, she has one of the acrobatics acts grab Connors and use him as a volunteer for his act, and he almost passes out due to his fear of heights. Later, they both apologize for what they did and admit that they had a good time and share a kiss. Meanwhile, Harris and Talinsky are arguing over how they should proceed in dealing with Konali and as they head down the escalator towards the subway, they pass by Lassard, who is still with the Russian family, and though Lassard and Harris see each other, they both think they were mistaken. Later that night, the group go undercover at Konali’s casino and Callahan, posing as a lounge singer, manages to catch Konali’s eye and he invites her to dinner, while Connors, using a trick to take out one of Konali’s guards, is hired as Konali’s new bodyguard. The next day, Konali takes Callahan to his warehouse and starts telling her about his plans. Meanwhile, Connors looks around and finds Adam, who tells him that Konali’s plans will be finished the next day. While they are at the warehouse, Tackleberry, Jones, and the three Russian officers sneak into Konali’s office in his restaurant and break into his safe to try and find information. Later, Adam says that he finished the new game and Konali orders a dozen copies to be made for testing, making sure to include Rakov, the President, and the Mayor as his test subjects. Meanwhile, Jones receives a note saying that Konali will be buying some illegal weapons at the ballet that night but Harris overhears them and makes his own plans. As Konali takes Callahan to the ballet, with Connors guarding them, Jones, Tackleberry, and Katrina are undercover and when Harris tries to get in, Katrina refuse to let him in due to his not having a ticket. Harris then impersonates one of the ballerinas and goes on stage, with Tackleberry trying to stop him. While this is going on, a man sits next to Callahan and Konali hands him an evelope, prompting everyone to try and arrest him for the arms deal but when Connors opens the envelope, he learns that it is a donation to a charity. Rakov chastises the Americans for what happened and leaves Talinsky to deal with them, and Talinsky orders the Americans to leave Russia. As they group are at the airport preparing to leave, Konali’s men show up and grab Callahan and drag her into a car. Connors, who is saying goodbye to Katrina, sees this and manages to jump onto the roof of the car while the others, along with Katrina and the Russian trio, hop into a police van and give chase. Harris gives Tackleberry a tracker dart to fire into the car so they can keep tabs on them and after they manage to rescue Connors, Harris tells them that he has a plan. At Konali’s house, Konali has Callahan tied up and plans on marrying her when his brother tells him that the new game is in the police computer. Konali quickly goes to his computer to double check and when he is able to access it, he leaves and heads to the warehouse to start shipping the new game worldwide. Harris and the others reach the house and head inside to save Callahan only to find her already free and she tells them Konali is heading to the warehouse. They head off to the warehouse but are pursued by Talinsky, who is threatening to arrest them. When they reach the warehouse, they quickly arrest Konali but Talinsky shows up and tries to stop them. They explain what is going on and Connor is able to figure out Konali’s password and show that he is able to access the police computer system. Talinsky is glad to have proof to arrest Konali but when they turn to face him, they find that Konali had overpowered and subdued Harris and escaped. Konali heads to his restaurant to retrieve the master copy of the game from his safe but Lassard, who was there with the Russian family he was staying with, accidentally wanders into the office and after a brief fight, manages to capture Konali. At a ceremony, Rakov thanks Lassard and his team for helping to catch Konali and showing that Americans and Russians can work together.

Much like the last few movies in the series, Police Academy: Mission To Moscow was panned by the critics, holding a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, pretty much every critic felt like this was a poor attempt to cash in on a famed series. Michael Winslow (Jones), David Graf (Tackleberry) and George Gaynes (Lassard) were the only three actors to appear in all 7 movies of the series. The movie was filmed in 1993 and was one of the first American comedy films to be produced in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. The movie received a very limited run in theaters, only earning $126,247 off of a $10 million budget.

Wow, did I ever save the worst for last in this case. I honestly feel like this is one of those movies that the actors did for a paycheck. That is the only reason I can think of for Christopher Lee (Rakov) to be in this movie. The acting honestly felt subdued and nobody really seemed to put much enthusiasm in their roles, except for Richard Isreal, who seemed to have fun playing Konali’s computer programmer Adam Sharp. The story was pretty weak and seemed to be a pale imitation of the previous movies. Even the comedy in the movie felt forced and honestly, there wasn’t a lot to laugh at in this movie. Unless you are a completionist that has to see every movie in a franchise, you should really skip this one.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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