action, crime, movie, movie review, thriller

June 14th, 2017 Movie – John Wick: Chapter 2

john wick 2

Ahhh, the pre-order gift. You know, when you pre-order a movie and forget when it is going to be released. Then you come home to find a package in the mail that contains your movie, but you never receive the email that it was delivered so it comes as a complete surprise. That is pretty much what happened regarding today’s movie, which I immediately went ahead and pre-ordered after seeing it in theaters. So let’s see how bad of a day our favorite assassin is having as I watch John Wick: Chapter 2.

The plot: A few days after the events of the first movie, John Wick is chasing down a man on a motorcycle and eventually catches him when the man crashes into the car John is driving. Searching the body, John retrieves a card with a distinct emblem on it, then leaves the body in the road and heads towards the Russian chop shop that has his car, which happens to be owned by Viggo Tarasov’s brother Abram. After taking out some of the guards, John finds his car and attempts to drive out of there but the remaining guards proceed to crash into his car. John manages to kill or cripple the guards, then heads up to Abram’s office and declare a truce, which Abram accepts, and John drives his wrecked car home. The next day, John’s friend Aurelio shows up and takes John’s car to his shop to be repaired while John heads down to his basement and reburies the weapons and clothing he used as an assassin. Hearing his doorbell ring, John answers it to find Santino D’Antonio outside, who asks if he can come in. John invites him in and as the two men talk, it is revealed that Santino had helped John with his impossible task that allowed him to stop being an assassin. Showing the blood oath marker that John swore to, Santino tells John he needs his help but John refuses to accept the marker, saying he can’t help as he is retired. Santino leaves but grabs a grenade launcher from his car and proceeds to use it to blow up John’s house, but John and his new dog survive. The two head to The Continental in New York City, where John meets with Winston and Winston explains that there are two rules that cannot be broken; no business can be conducted on Continental ground and all markers must be honored. Realizing he has no choice, John asks if they can board his dog and the concierge, Charon, says they don’t but he would be willing to take care of him so John leaves his dog with him. John heads to a museum to meet with Santino and Santino explains that he wants John to kill his sister Gianna, as he wants her seat on the High Table. John heads to Rome and checks into the Continental there, then heads out to get weapons, plans, and a new suit made, not noticing Santino’s bodyguard Ares watching him from a distance. After he is ready, John heads to the party that Gianna is hosting and manages to make it to her private room. Confronting her, John tells her that he is only there because of the marker that Santino holds on him and she chooses to slit her wrist and kill herself. John holds her hand as she dies, then shoots her in the head before leaving the room. As he heads towards his escape route, John runs into Cassian, another hitman that serves as Gianna’s head bodyguard, and after John confirms that he just finished a job, Cassian attempts to shoot John, then orders his men after him while he checks on Gianna. John manages to fight his way through the guards and make it to his escape route in the catacombs, where he encounters Ares and some of Santino’s men, who are there to kill John and tie up loose ends. John manages to kill most of the men and makes it back onto the streets, where Cassian catches up to him and the two renew their fight until the eventually crash through a skylight of the Continental. Unable to continue with the fight, John and Cassian head to the bar for a drink and John explains that he was only there because of the marker Santino had on him. Cassian says he understands but still plans to avenge Gianna’s death before he leaves and as John heads to his room, he sees Ares, who signs that she will be the one to kill John. Under the pretense of avenging his sister’s death, Santino puts a $7 million bounty on John’s head and has it sent out to every hitman in New York. Meanwhile, Winston approaches Santino and demands he list John’s marker as being fulfilled, then warns him that John will be coming after him for dragging him back into this world. When John arrives back in New York, he is attacked by several assassins and manages to kill them all but ends up shot in the gut. As he continues making his way towards the Continental, he encounters Cassian and the two begin shooting at each other. They eventually make it onto a subway car, where they begin fighting with knives in the car, and John finally stabs Cassian in the chest, telling him if he pulls the blade out he will bleed out, then leaves him alive as a professional courtesy. As he heads out of the subway, he sees two more hitmen approaching him and makes a run for it until he sees a homeless man panhandling. John approaches the man, drops a gold coin in his cup, and tells the man to take him to “Him”, then he hides beneath the junk the man has. The homeless man covers John some more, then kills the two hitmen before he and some of his associates take the bodies and John away. John wakes up to find his wounds tended too and is taken to the rooftop to meet with the Bowery King, a man that John had encountered once and had given a choice on if he wanted to live or die. John convinces the Bowery King to help him by saying Santino will end up starting a war and if the Bowery King kills him, the other members of the High Table will come after him and his people but if John kills him, they will only come after him. The Bowery King gives him a gun and 7 rounds, 1 round for each million of the bounty, and has one of his men guide him through the underground to the museum where Santino is. When John gets there, he attempts to kill Santino but his men manage to get him out of the room while other bodyguards try to stop John. As John begins killing Santino’s guards, Ares shows up with some more men and helps get Santino away, then stays to try and kill John but John manages to kill the rest of the guards and finally Ares. Santino makes his way to the Continental and demands that Winston revoke John’s membership but Winston tells Santino that he has no authority to make that decision. When John arrives at the hotel, Winston tries to appeal to John to walk away but Santino taunts John and John ends up shooting him. After collecting his dog from Charon, John returns to the burnt out remains of his home for the night but the next day, Charon is there to escort him to see Winston. Winston meets with John and tells him that the High Table has now doubled the bounty on his head and sent the order out globally. When John asks about the Continental, Winston tells him that since John killed Santino there, he has no choice but to render John excommunicado and says that the services and amenities will no longer be open to him. Winston tells John that he will delay the order one hour, then hands him a marker for a possible future use. John tells Winston to tell them that whoever comes for him, he will kill them all, then leaves, with his dog running alongside.

John Wick: Chapter 2 met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is “John Wick: Chapter 2 does what a sequel should — which in this case means doubling down on the non-stop, thrillingly choreographed action that made its predecessor so much fun.” This movie is the first time that Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne worked together since The Matrix trilogy and there were several references to the series within the movie. The movie was a box office success, earning $166.8 million off of a $40 million budget and a third movie to finish the trilogy was announced.

This is such an awesome movie. The acting was really good, with Keanu Reeves (John) doing a great job in their roles while Ian McShane (Winston), Laurence Fishburne (Bowery King), and Common (Cassian) doing a good job in their supporting roles. The story was really good, picking up where the first movie ended and then showing the repercussions for John’s actions against Viggo and Iosef Tarasov. The fight scenes were very well done and did a great job of continuing the whole “gun fu” technique that John would use during his fights. A great movie that continues telling a great story and gets you totally geared up for the final movie.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

action, comedy, crime, martial arts, movie, movie review

May 12th, 2017 Movie – Return Of The Dragon (a.k.a. The Way Of The Dragon)

return of the dragon

Everyone has to get there start somewhere. And who would have guessed that the legendary figure known as Chuck Norris would get his start in a Bruce Lee movie. Then again, I can’t think of too many movies that would be a better way to debut in. The only downside is that this kind of renders all of those Chuck Norris jokes moot, as he does end up getting his butt kicked in this movie. But I am rambling so let’s get right into today’s movie, Return Of The Dragon.

The plot: Tang Lung arrives in Rome, Italy and is picked up by Chen Ching Hua, who was expecting someone else. Chen Ching begins to tell Tang Lung about how she owns a restaurant with her uncle Wang and business was good until a criminal syndicate showed up wanting to buy the restaurant. When they refused, the syndicate began chasing off the customers, causing the business to start to fail. Chen Ching takes Tang Lung to an apartment that the restaurant owns but wonders what exactly Tang Lung can do to help them. After taking Tang Lung to the bank and showing him around town, Chen Ching leaves when Tang Long appears to flirt with a strange woman. Tang Lung heads back to the apartment and meets Ah Queen, one of the workers, who takes him to the restaurant. At the restaurant, Tang Lung meets Wang and the other workers, who have started practicing karate during the down time. Ah Quen tells Tang Lung he doesn’t like it, as he prefers Chinese boxing, but Tang Lung tells him that if it helps him in a fight, he should be open to any discipline. Some customers arrive at the restaurant but before they can eat, the syndicate’s men, led by a man named Ho, arrive and chase them away, then tell Wang that they will be back at midnight to have them sign over the restaurant. That night, another group of syndicate men arrive and pick a fight with the wait staff and after Wang begs them not to damage the restaurant, they agree to head out back to fight. One of the syndicate men quickly knocks out the restaurant worker that challenged him so Tang Lung decides to fight them and easily beats all 4 of the syndicate men. Chen Ching and the restaurant workers are happy about the victory but Wang warns them that they will be back and could make things even worse. Returning to the apartment, Tang Lung asks where he can buy a gun but when Chen Ching says that he cant, she finds him making some throwing darts for defense. The next day, the workers ask Tang Lung to teach them Chinese boxing and he agrees to show them some moves, almost injuring one of them when he kicks the practice bag too hard. That night, Tang Lung and Chen Ching return to the apartment to find a man with a gun waiting for them but Tang Lung uses one of his darts to disarm the man, then quickly beats him and tosses him out of the apartment. The syndicate’s boss is upset at the failure of his men to get the restaurant and when he hears about Tang Lung, goes to the restaurant himself with a large group of men to confront Tang Lung. Chen Ching is giving Tang Lung a tour of Rome but he is unimpressed with the city. When they arrive at the restaurant, they are quickly grabbed by the syndicate men and Ho gives Tang Lung a ticket back to Hong Kong, then the boss has some of his men escort Tang Lung outside. Once he is outside, Tang Lung quickly disarms the man holding him at gun point, then begins attacking the other men. The gunman quickly goes back inside to get some reinforcements but Tang Lung is able to knock them all out single-handedly. Heading back inside, Tang Lung uses his darts to disarm the men holding the workers at gun point, and the workers help him deal with the remaining thugs before Tang Lung confronts the boss, then tells Ho to tell him not to come back to the restaurant. The next day, a death threat is sent to the restaurant and Wang says they have to send Tang back to Hong Kong and convinces Chen Ching to convince him. That night, Chen Ching tries to talk to Tang Lung but he refuses to leave, saying that his place is with her. When an assassin tries to shoot Tang Lung, Tang Lung heads across the street and deals with the assassin but when he returns to the apartment, he finds Chen Ching missing. Tang Lung gets the restaurant workers and heads for the syndicate’s headquarters, where they confront the boss and his men in order to rescue Chen Ching. After they leave, Ho speaks with his boss and says he knows of two martial artists, one Japanese and one European, who they can get to help them with Tang Lung but when his boss asks if they are the best, Ho recommends an American named Colt and makes the call to America to hire him. As Tang Lung and the others celebrate Chinese New Years, Tang Lung receives a telegram asking that he return to Hong Kong but Tang Lung tells the workers that he won’t leave until he sees this through. Suddenly, Ho shows up and invites Tang Lung to meet with his boss the next day and Tang Lung agrees. Meanwhile, Colt arrives at the syndicate’s headquarters and breaks up a fight between the two other martial artists, with the European one revealed as one of his students. When the Japanese expert challenges Colt to see who is better, Colt quickly beats him, then the boss explains their plan to deal with Tang Lung. The next day, Tang Lung, Wang, and three of the workers arrive at the meeting but Ho says the boss isn’t there but he will take them to him. Ho takes them to a deserted area, where the two martial artists are waiting for them. The three workers quickly challenge them but they end up losing so Tang Lung steps in and quickly dispatches the two. Wang tells Tang Lung to go after Ho, saying the workers can finish dealing with the martial artists but as soon as Tang Lung leaves, Wang kills two of the workers, saying he planned on selling the restaurant and returning to Hong Kong a rich man. Tang Lung follows Ho to the Colosseum, where after some taunting by Ho, he is confronted by Colt. As the two start to fight, Colt gets the upper hand and appears to be poised to beat Tang Lung. Sensing this, Tang Lung changes his style of fighting, adopting a bouncing movement to his stance, and is able to get the advantage over Colt and eventually kills him. After paying his respects to the fallen warrior, Tang Lung chases after Ho, and Wang tries to pass off the workers deaths as he is doing, but when Tang Lung turns his attention to Ho, Wang picks up his knife and moves to stab him. Suddenly, the syndicate boss shows up and shoots Ho, then shoots Wang when he fails to stab Tang Lung. As the boss attempts to kill Tang Lung, the police show up and arrest him. Chen Ching and the other workers show up and Tang Lung says that now that things are finished, he must leave. As Tang Lung starts walking towards the airport, Ah Quen tells Chen Ching that Tang Lung will always be a loner.

Return Of The Dragon met with high praise from the critics, holding a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all remarked on the action and the charisma of Bruce Lee. This film marked Bruce Lee’s directorial debut and he cast Chuck Norris, who was US Karate Champion at the time, as he was one of the few people who was fast enough to keep up with him. Return Of The Dragon was the highest grossing movie in Hong Kong when it came out in 1972, earning $5.3 million, and was Bruce Lee’s most profitable movie at the time.

This is a great martial arts movie to watch on a number of fronts. The acting was really good, with Bruce Lee doing a great job as Tang Lung. Nora Miao (Chen Ching) also did a good job, as did Chuck Norris, though I was a little disappointed that his role was so limited. Admittedly, the story was a little basic but the addition of the humor in the movie helped keep this from being boring or another generic martial arts movie. The fight sequences were very well choreographed and did a great job of showing off Bruce Lee’s skills, as well as Chuck Norris’ during his fight with Bruce Lee. Definitely one of Bruce Lee’s best movies and well worth watching.

Rating: 5 out of 5


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

comedy, crime, movie, movie review

May 5th, 2017 Movie – Police Academy 6: City Under Seige

police academy 6

They should have ended it on a low note. The movies had been making less and less money over the years and the movies themselves have suffered in terms of comedy as well. I remember seeing the commercials for this movie when it came out in theaters and even then, I thought it looked pretty stupid. When I finally got a chance to watch it, I was a little sad to learn that I was right. So let’s get ready to stumble along with today’s movie, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege.

The plot: As the city is plagued by a series of robberies by a gang known as the Wilson Heights Gang, Captain Harris and Lt. Proctor are staking out the location of the gang’s next possible target. As Harris is talking to Proctor, the Wilson Heights Gang hit the store behind them and manage to get away, making Harris look like a fool as he never even saw them. As the latest headline hits the papers, the mayor is chastising Commissioner Hurst and Harris over their inability to capture the gang and tells them that the governor has assigned someone to help them. Harris is shocked to see that it is Lassard, as he has finally managed to transfer away from Lassard and his men. Due to the possibility that there is a leak in Harris’ precinct, only the members of the task force will know what their plans are. As Lassard starts to brief Nick (who had transferred there from Miami), Hightower, Jones, Callahan, Hooks, and Tackleberry, Harris forces his way into leading the presentation, so Hightower discretely breaks his chair, causing Harris to fall when he sits in it. As Hurst starts to talk, he questions Lassard about their missing team member when Sgt. Fackler walks in, having inadvertently caused chaos throughout the precinct on his way in. When the Wilson Heights Gang rob a bank, the task force heads there to go over the crime scene. Harris does his best to make Lassard look bad so Nick tricks Harris into taking a dye pack out of the bank, causing it to explode and cover him in paint. Hightower calls Nick over to listen to a witness’ statement and they learn that the gang is simply hired muscle, meaning that there is a mastermind behind the whole thing. Meanwhile, the Wilson Heights Gang (Ace, Flash, and Ox) are counting their money from the robbery when a screen lights up and the shadowed image of their boss, Mr. Big appears and congratulates them on a job well done and says their plans will soon be finished. Back at the precinct, the team decide to start canvasing the streets to see if they can find any information about the gang while Harris chooses to go undercover to investigate rumors of a gang operating out of a skyscraper. Harris and Proctor pose as window washers but the gang is actually the name of a band that the record label is promoting but while Harris is recording their conversation, he getting his foot caught in some rope and falls off the scaffolding, forcing Proctor to try and save him. As everyone on the team laughs at the recording of Harris begging for his life, Hurst says that their canvas came up with nothing when Nick shows him a news article of a priceless diamond that is to be displayed at the museum and they decide to set a trap for the Wilson Heights Gang. Nick and Jones drive the armored car, with Harris and Proctor inside guarding the gem, while Hightower, Hooks, Callahan, Tackleberry, and Fackler keep watch while undercover. When the armored car stops at a light, the Wilson Heights Gang cause a car alarm to go off and use the distraction to have Ox climb up from a manhole and cut into the armored car and steal the diamond right from under their noses. When the armored car continues driving, Harris ends up falling into the hole and is forced to run to keep from being killed. After Nick and Jones pull over and the team regroups, Nick pulls Lassard aside and tells him the leak isn’t in the precinct, it is someone in the team. Back at the precinct, Harris chastises Nick for his idea, then Hurst begins going over what they know about the Wilson Heights Gang. Nick has an idea but doesn’t elaborate on it. Convincing everyone to go with their hunch, Nick and the others keep watch on a jewelry store and manage to catch the Wilson Heights Gang as they leave but Harris, trying to get the glory for their capture for himself, gets in the way and the gang is able to escape. Back at their hideout, Mr. Big congratulates the gang on their escape and when they ask him what happened, Mr. Big says that Lassard’s team is getting too close but he will find a way to get them out of the way. Back at the precinct, Nick and the others are worried as Harris appears too happy for their liking. When Hurst and the mayor walk in, Hurst explains that the found some of the stolen gems in Lassard’s office and so the mayor has no choice but to suspend Lassard and his team pending an investigation. Nick and the others ponder what to do for a while and decide that they will work to clear Lassard’s name. Sneaking into the city office, Nick has Hooks pull up the old bus route that the gang seem to be focusing on but she mistakenly pulls up the plans for the new rail line. Realizing that the rail line and bus route are the same, the group realize that Mr. Big started the crime wave in order to lower the property value of the area so he could buy the property cheap. The manage to locate the company that has been buying the property but when they get there, they see no sign of the gang but dynamite and plans to black out the city. At a power station, the Wilson Heights Gang rig up the station to blow then alert Mr. Big, who presses the detonator and blacks out the city. With the power out, Nick and the others work to help out the citizens, though Fackler ends up causing more harm than good as per usual. When Nick happens to see the Wilson Heights Gang leaving an ice cream store. he radios for back up and Hightower, Jones, and Tackleberry join him. Following the gang through the sewers they come to a junction and Nick chooses to continue down the tunnel while Hightower leads the others up the ladder and the find the Wilson Heights Gang waiting for them. Ace and Flash take off and Jones and Tackleberry give chase, leaving Hightower to handle Ox. Ox drops a load of metal on Hightower but Hightower manages to survive and the two begin fighting but when Ox begins telling bad jokes, Hightower has enough and punches him hard enough to finally knock him out. Jones runs into Flash and the two begin fighting but when Flash knocks down the shelf that Jones is on, Jones uses some wires to make it seem like he is a robot, fooling Flash long enough for Jones to knock him out. Tackleberry finds Ace and the two impress each other with their marksmanship but when Ace tries to run, Tackleberry uses a bola to capture him. Nick follows the tunnel but ends up trapped in the room and Mr. Big begins filling it with poison gas but Hightower manages to save him. The two chase after Mr. Big and when he tries to escape in a electrical truck, Nick manages to climb inside the crane’s bucket. Hightower commandeers a monster truck and picks up Jones and Tackleberry, who takes over driving, and they chase after them. Mr. Big tries to get rid of Nick by raising the bucket as he heads towards an overpass but Nick manages to grab some construction scaffolding and drops into the back of the monster truck. The group finds the truck in front of city hall and they head inside, where they find Hurst is the only one there. They start to leave his office when Lassard, Hooks, Callahan, and Fackler walk in with Hurst. When Harris and Proctor show up to add to the confusion, Nick realizes that one of the Hursts is a fake and says the only way to tell is to use the Pinocchio test. Nick pulls on the nose of the Hurst standing next to Lassard and proves he is the real one. When Hightower does the same to the Hurst sitting at Hurst’s desk, he pulls off the mask to reveal the mayor, who starts laughing at them. The mayor thanks Harris for telling him their plans to catch him, revealing Harris to unknowingly be the mole. Hurst has the mayor arrested, then apologizes to Lassard for doubting him and promptly reinstates Lassard and his team. Some time later, Lassard and his team are given medals of honor for their help in the city and as they all sit down, Harris chooses to switch seats with Hightower, not trusting the chair he had been offered. After Harris sits, someone cuts the cord to the bundle of balloons above the stage and Harris ends up floating away with the balloons as the chair he was in was tied to the other end of the balloons, and the officers all salute Harris, with Lassard seen holding the scissors.

Nobody seemed to like the last few Police Academy movies because this movie was also panned, holding a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics felt that it was rather lackluster and boring. This movie would be the last to feature Bubba Smith (Hightower), Marion Ramsey (Hooks), Bruce Mahler (Fackler), Lance Kinsey (Proctor), and George R. Robertson (Hurst) in the franchise. Police Academy 6: City Under Siege was a dud at the box office, only pulling in a little over $11.5 million.

Man, this was kind of a chore to watch. The acting was ok for the most part but there were sometimes where some of the actors just seemed to be doing this for a paycheck. The story was pretty simplistic and to be honest, very predictable. As far as the comedy goes, most of it centered around the gang pulling pranks on Harris, or the chaos that ensued around Fackler. The special effects were pretty cheap and a little disappointing. The scene with Fackler directing traffic when the power was out was a bit ruined because you could constantly see the strings on the moths that were flying around him. As the series comes to a close, they are definitely hitting the bottom of the proverbial comedy barrel.

Rating: 2 out of 5

comedy, crime, movie, movie review

May 4th, 2017 Movie – Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach

police academy 5

Sometimes, I hate getting older and growing up. The main reason for this thought is that there are times where the things I enjoyed as a kid are no longer as enjoyable. That is becoming more apparent as I watch these movies. For some reason, I just don’t feel the same about these movies as I used to and it is making it harder to watch these than it really should. Gah. I freaking hate that something I enjoy is no longer fun. So let’s go ahead and get through these movies as fast as possible, continuing with today’s movie, Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach.

The plot: Late one night, Captain Harris and Lt. Proctor break into Commissioner Hurst’s office to go through his files. Finding the file on Commandant Lassard, Harris learns that Lassard had already passed the stat mandated age of retirement and he leaves with the file, planning on leaving it with the personnel office. The next day, Lassard is conducting the graduation ceremony for the latest class of police cadets, among them is Thomas “House” Conklin. After Lassard sits down, Hurst gets up to the podium and announces that Lassard will be honored as “Police Officer of the Decade” at the Police Convention in Miami that year. He then says it is his sad news to report that Commandant Lassard will be retiring this year. Lassard is shocked by the news and walks in a daze back to his office, passing a smug Harris along the way. Inside his office, Hightower, Jones, Callahan, Hooks, Tackleberry, and House try to cheer up Lassard and he quits feeling sorry for himself and decides to go to Miami and accept his award with honor, inviting them all to join him there. Meanwhile, Harris is trying to suck up to Hurst in order to get the Commandant job and Hurst tells him that he might be the one to get it but points out that unlike Lassard, who has the respect of his men, nobody has any respect for Harris. When he leaves, Harris admits that he is right then has Proctor book them tickets to Miami. Proctor mistakenly dials Lassard’s office and when Jones answers the phone, Proctor begins trying to order tickets so Jones, disguising his voice, puts him on hold while Hightower books a flight under Budget Rent-A-Plane. That night, three men (Tony, Mouse, and Sugar) break into the city museum and steal a collection of priceless diamonds that were on display. At the airport the next day, Harris gloats when he learns that he and Proctor are the only passengers on a private plane but it turns out to be a cargo plane with live animals roaming around the cabin. Meanwhile, Tony, Mouse, and Sugar arrive at the airport, where they constantly run into Lassard and accidents happen to the leader. When they land in Miami, the crooks see Lassard heading towards the escalator and wait for him to go down before they start moving towards it but when the leader slips on one of Lassard’s golf balls, the bag he is carrying goes flying and lands next to Lassard’s bag when he sets it down, and Lassard unknowingly grabs the wrong bag. Lassard is greeted by Miami’s Mayor and Police Commissioner and Lassard introduces them to his group. Suddenly, Lassard’s nephew Nick, who is a police officer, rushes by and arrests a disguised pickpocket before he gives his uncle a hug. Meanwhile, Tony take the bag they are carrying to a yacht where their boss, Mr. Dempsey, is waiting for them but when he opens the bag, he finds Lassard’s goldfish inside. The head thief realizes that he must have gotten his bag switched with Lassard and Mr. Dempsey tells him he has 24 hours to bring him the diamonds. At the hotel, Nick is showing Hightower and the others around when he stops at the pool and tries to hit on a woman named Kate. Kate ends up throwing him in the pool but afterwards, Nick apologizes and they shake hands. Later, the group is at the beach having fun when Nick runs across Harris, who yells at him for blocking his sun, so Nick borrows Kate’s sunblock and proceeds to write “Dork” on Harris’ chest while he is asleep. The next day, as the convention is underway, Lassard is trying to get Commissioner Murdock to tell him what the police procedure demonstration is but Murdock refuses to tell him. Meanwhile, Tony, Mouse and Sugar are joined by three others and they split up to try and find Lassard when Tony sees him walking into a hotel. Tony, Mouse and Sugar head inside, intending to grab Lassard but when they enter the conference room, they see it is full of cops and quickly leave. Up in his hotel room, Lassard takes his bag out on the deck and opens it to grab his goldfish but instead, finds a gift-wrapped package containing a video camera. Sugar, disguised as a hotel employee, enters his room and switches the bags while Lassard is trying out the camera, then quickly leaves the room, while Lassard returns to the bag and happily pulls out his goldfish. Sugar returns to the car with the bag but when Tony realizes the camera isn’t there, he sends Mouse to go get it but Lassard unknowingly knocks him out with a golf ball. As the demonstrations take place, Nick sees Kate teaching a martial arts class and realizes that she is a police officer. As Kate and Jones spar, Kate sees Sugar trying to cut the camera strap from Lassard with a knife and she and Jones quickly subdue him and Sugar crawls away. After repeated failures Tony is getting frustrated and comes up with a plan to have one of his men, Julio, drug Lassard so that he makes it look like he faints, and then Mouse and Sugar can catch him and, in the interest of helping him, take the camera. However, as Julio goes to drug Lassard as he is posing for a photo, but Harris attempts to get in the shot and ends up being drugged by mistake. Upset, Tony approaches Lassard and grabs the camera but as they struggle for it, the camera breaks and the diamonds, which were hidden inside, go flying. Tony grabs his gun and holds Lassard hostage while he has Mouse and Sugar pick up the diamonds and they all head for the elevator. Tony prepares to head for the lobby but Lassard, believing that the kidnapping is the Police Procedure Demonstration, convinces them to head up to his penthouse suite as it is more defensible. Tony calls down to give his demands, with Lassard helping him plan his getaway, and Harris, having recovered from the drugs, plans the assault on the crooks. Nick leads the group upstairs and they take out Julio and two other crooks but don’t see Lassard, Tony, Mouse, or Sugar. When the helicopter shows up an hour early, they realize that Harris is trying to get all of the glory himself. On the roof, Harris and Proctor manage to get the drop on Tony and the others but when Proctor causes them to fall off their vantage point, Tony grabs Harris as a second hostage and they fly off in the helicopter. Reaching the boat at the harbor, Tony has Sugar pilot it to meet with Mr. Dempsey’s yacht and he shows Mr. Dempsey the diamonds. When Mr. Dempsey says to kill Harris and Lassard, Tony tries to plead for Lassard’s life but Dempsey tells him not to leave any witnesses. As Tony goes to shoot Lassard, Nick, Kate, Callahan, and Hooks show up on airboats, while Tackleberry uses a motorcycle and they start attacking the crooks. Tony grabs Lassard and uses one of the airboats to escape and Nick, Kate, and Tackleberry grab the other two and chase after him, with Tackleberry grabbing Jones on the way. As Hightower and House show up to help with the crooks on the boat, Harris tries to assume command but Proctor accidentally knocks him into the water. The others start to laugh when they see an alligator approaching Harris and Hightower jumps into the water and saves him. Meanwhile, Nick and the others manage to catch up to Tony and Lassard and as Tony tries to bargain his way out, Nick convinces Lassard that this isn’t a demonstration, Lassard knocks out Tony and retrieves the diamonds. At an awards ceremony back at the acadmey, Hightower, Jones, Callahan, Hooks, Tackleberry, House, along with Nick and Kate are given medals of honor, while Hightower, for his saving Harris’ life, is promoted to Lieutenant. As Lassard takes a seat, Hurst announces that the Governor and he had agreed that Lassard can continue teaching at the academy until he chooses to retire himself. Harris, in shock at the news, goes to sit down and Proctor kicks a seat towards him but the seat keeps sliding along the stage and Harris ends up falling into the large drum as the marching band proceeds to march away from the stage.

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach was panned by the critics, holding a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the majority of the critics felt that the premise and jokes was becoming stale and even the new location couldn’t save it. After the 4th movie, Steve Guttenberg turned down his role in all future sequels but in recent interviews, expressed some regrets in that decision and has been one of the people to try and get a reboot going. Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach faced some stiff competition in the theaters and while it did debut at #1, it only made a little over $19.5 million at the box office.

Yeh, this series pretty much jumped the shark, or in this instance, scared the shark away with a gun. This wasn’t a bad movie but it definitely didn’t age well. The acting was ok, with all of the returning cast doing a good job. I also liked Janet Jones (Kate), Rene Auberjonois (Tony) as well as Archie Hahn (Mouse) and Jerry Lazarus (Sugar), who made for some great bumbling sidekicks, but I thought that Matt McCoy (Nick) tried to play himself off as too cute, making it seem like he was being a poor man’s version of Mahoney. The story was good, and I thought it was hilarious that Lassard constantly thought the demonstration was a kidnapping and kept helping the thieves with their getaway, but while there has always been an element of sexism in these movies, they went a little overboard with this one, like when Callahan, Hooks, and Kate were wearing maid uniforms with short skirts when they went to rescue Lassard in the penthouse. While most of the comedy was situational or an occasional play on words, some of the gags used just seemed cheap. While I don’t think it was as bad as it’s predecessor, this is still not worth watching outside of a nostalgic kick.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

comedy, crime, movie, movie review

May 3rd, 2017 Movie – Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol

police academy 4

Depending on who you talk to, this is pretty much the turning point of the series. I mean, this would be Steve Guttenberg’s last appearance as Mahoney, as well as the last time that some of the iconic locations from the series would be shown, such as the Blue Oyster bar. However, I didn’t know any of this when I first saw this movie. All I knew was that another Police Academy movie was coming out and that I would most likely be laughing as I watched it. Man was I easily amused as a kid. Well, let’s see what happens today with today’s movie, Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol.

The plot: Commandant Lassard calls a meeting and Mahoney, Jones, Hightower, Callahan, Tackleberry, Hooks, and Sweetchuck attend. While practicing his golf swing, and inadvertently hitting Sweetchuck in the crotch at one point, Lassard begins to tell them about his new community program, Citizens On Patrol, where citizens will be trained in police detecting skills in order to help spot potential crimes and alert the police to them. Hightower suggests going to their old neighborhoods to recruit people and Lassard says it is a wonderful idea, and says that he will be unveiling the program at the international police seminar, just as Zed walks in and catches Lassard’s errant golf ball in his mouth. Meanwhile, Captain Harris is at his precinct and complains to Commissioner Hurst about Lassard’s program but Hurst tells him that the governor and mayor both like the idea so he has to deal with it. As the recruiting drive commences, two teenagers, Kyle and Arnie, are warned by Sgt. Copeland about skateboarding but after he drives off, they meet up with their friends and head to the mall. While Arnie is watching some people do tricks outside, Kyle heads inside the mall and is skaetboarding around when Copeland catches him. Copeland accidentally pushes Kyle into a judge and while Copeland goes to help him, Kyle uses the opportunity to run and gets Arnie as he leaves. Copeland heads to the precinct to tell Harris, who organizes a search for the two teens and manages to chase them into the lecture hall, where Mahoney and the others are speaking about the program. Harris finally catches the two teens and at court, the judge sentencing them happens to be the one Kyle was pushed into and he finds them guilty. Mahoney approaches the bench and asks that the judge have them enroll into the C.O.P. program as a form of alternate punishment and the judge agrees, though Harris objects. Elsewhere, Tackleberry and Callahan head to a retirement home to speak with Mrs. Feldman, who had expressed interest in the program, and while Callahan finds herself fending off some of the horny seniors, Tackleberry forms a friendship with Mrs. Feldman over their shared love of the military and firearms. As the citizens arrive at the academy, Lassard greets them all and welcomes them to the program. Hurst then tells them that since Lassard is attending the seminar, he has assigned a seasoned veteran to oversee the program and everyone is surprised when Harris and Proctor show up. On the first day, Harris reads the prepared welcome from Lassard, then tells the assembled group that he believes this to be a mistake and says they should all go home. When Hightower’s dog Clarence nuzzles Harris’ crotch, Harris yells at Hightower to get rid of the dog and storms off, but Hightower refuses to get rid of Clarence and Claire Mattson, a reporter that is covering the program, offers to take her and Mahoney starts flirting with her. As the training commences, Harris continues to show his disdain for the program and Mahoney and the others strike back by pulling pranks on him, such as switching his deodorant with mace or substituting helium for oxygen when he is trying to demonstrate how to administer oxygen. When Mahoney and some of the others are playing a friendly game of basketball with some people in the community, Proctor sees them and says they are just goofing off and plans to tell Harris but when he stops to use a port-a-potty, Mahoney has a construction crew help him and, using a crane, has the port-a-potty moved to a football field, where Proctor ends up being seen by everyone. Kyle, Arnie, and Tommy “House” Conklin are constantly slacking off and joke about being ready for real police work. Jones overhears them talking and so Mahoney and Jones wake them in the middle of the night and say they are going with them to arrest a fugitive. Telling them to wait in an alley, Mahoney and Jones head inside a building, then Jones fakes some gunfire and a choked scream, which causes Kyle, Arnie, and House to duck for cover in the trash. Mahoney and Jones see all this and after laughing at the three teens, they yell out that they are coming down. Mahoney and Jones exit the building with a large man carrying a body bag and tell the three teens that they will be riding in the back with Medula, a voodoo practitioner, and his late brother. As they are riding to the precinct, Medula begins chanting and Jones tells them not to worry about it. Suddenly, Medula snaps his restraints and begins sprinkling something on the body bag. Mahoney and Jones pretend to leave the car to get some food and as Medula continues chanting, Kyle and Arnie try to leave out of the back of the van. Suddenly, Medula starts laughing as a chainsaw suddenly starts up inside the bag and begins cutting it away to reveal a crazed man in a red goalie mask. House yells out and breaks open the van door and the three teens start running back to the academy, as it is revealed that Hightower and Tackleberry were pretending to be Medula and his brother. The next day, a party is thrown at the academy and when Harris finds out, he starts yelling at everyone, particularly Zed, who ends up being comforted by Laura, a C.O.P. recruit that happens to like him. Meanwhile, Hurst heads to the seminar to extend an invitation to the guest there to come to the city and see the C.O.P. program for themselves and the delegates quickly accept. Back in the states, the C.O.P. recruits are let out on the streets and Mrs. Feldman, Laura, and Butterworth (Kyle and Arnie’s lawyer who decided to join the program) spot a fencing operation and break it up, only to realize that it was actually an undercover police operation. Due to the incident, the C.O.P. program is suspended, just as Lassard, Hurst, and the delegates arrive. Harris decides to show the delegates his precinct and when Proctor goes to check on the prisoners, he finds them engaging in a game of Simon Says. Proctor gets tricked into playing as well and the prisoners manage to grab his gun and they escape, locking Harris, Hurst, and the delegates inside the cells. As the prisoners race out of the precinct, Mrs. Feldman sees them and radios it in, then tells Tackleberry to pick her up. They see one of the stolen police cars outside a bank and Tackleberry heads inside to catch the crooks but they get the drop on him. Mrs. Feldman ends up crashing the motorcycle through the glass to rescue Tackleberry and he arrests the crooks. Callahan and Nogata, who were interrupted during their reunion by the news of the jail break, spy a member of a ninja gang at the docks and go after him and find themselves surrounded. Jones shows up to help them and the three are able to defeat the ninjas, with Lassard knocking out the last one. Mahoney and Claire see the last of the crooks heading towards an airshow and when the crooks take off in a biplane and a hot air balloon, Claire leads him to a biplane and she flies after them. Tackleberry, Sweetchuck, and Zed grab another plane and chase after them as well, as do Harris and Proctor in a hot air balloon. When Proctor fires a warning shot at the criminals, he ends up deflating their balloon and he and Harris fall into the river but they are rescued by House, Kyle, Arnie, and Butterworth. Tackleberry approaches the crooks in the plane, then jumps out of it and lands on the balloon, taking the crooks captive while Zed and Sweetchuck are left to pilot the plane. Mahoney has Claire pilot their plane closer to the crooks’ plane and he manages to climb onto the wing and reach the cockpit and, thanks to Zed and Sweetchuck’s losing control of their plane, get the drop on the pilot and force him to land. Meanwhile, Zed and Sweetchuck end up falling out of the plane and use Zed’s parachute to land safely, where they begin attacking each other. As Lassard and the others all arrive, the C.O.P. program is hailed as a success and Lassard wants to thank Mahoney but they see him riding off in a hot air balloon with Claire.

Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol was absolutely panned by the critics, holding a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol sends a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths. Despite the fact that every movie in the series met with negative reviews from the critics, this is the only movie to receive a Razzie nomination; which was for Worst Song but it wound up losing to “I Want Your Sex” from Beverly Hills Cop II. Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol would debut at # 1 at the box office and end up making just over $28 million during it’s run.

While it was funny as a kid, some of the humor did not survive the aging process. The acting was ok but nobody really stood out and at times, the characters just felt stale. The story was good, and I liked the idea of showcasing average citizens helping to alert police of crimes in the area, but again, some of the jokes they used just seemed forced. And even though I loved the pairing of Bobcat Goldthwait and Tim Kazurinsky, they seemed to focus on that too much in this movie, unlike the previous movie where it actually made sense to do so. I will give props to David Graf and his stunt double as the scene with him climbing down the rope from the top of the balloon was pretty intense and I liked the skateboarding scenes at the beginning of the movie (as I did try my hand at that as a kid) but overall, the special effects were a bit of a snooze. The series as a whole has a nice sense of nostalgia but this movie wasn’t really worth the revisit.

Rating: 2 out of 5



comedy, crime, movie, movie review

May 2nd, 2017 Movie – Police Academy 3: Back In Training

police academy 3

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