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The Police Academy Collection                    review by Bobby Blakey

Throughout the years there have been so many iconic comedies with most of them coming out of the 80s like Porky’s and Revenge of the Nerds. A lot of them, including these two spawned franchises, but none as many as Police Academy. The series consisted of 7 films, an animated TV series and live action TV series, with rumors of another possibly coming in some form. Now Shout Factory is bringing all six films home with The Police Academy Collection on Blu-ray.


The films feature a fun ensemble cast including Steve Gutenberg, G.W. Bailey, Kim Catrell, Bubba Smith, Donovan Scott, George Gaynes, Andrew Rubin, David Graf, Leslie Easterbrook, Michael Winslow, Scott Thompson, Marion Ramsey, Howard Hesseman, Art Metrano, Bobcat Golthwait, Tim Kazurinsky, Lance Kinsey, Brian Tochi, Ron Perlman, Christopher Lee,  and so many more. Believe it or not a lot more of the cast than you might think stuck around for all seven films in the franchise. There are plenty of appearances throughout the series of prominent actors and actresses early in their career including Dean Norris, Sharon Stone, David Spade, rap icon Melle Mel and so many more.

Police Academy follows the newly appointed Lady Mayoress of a crime-plagued metropolis who lowers the bar for the recruitment process in desperate need of a fresh batch of police officers. As a result, all types of misfits start flocking into Commandant Eric Lassard's prestigious Police Academy, and the leader of this assortment of pariahs is Carey Mahoney: a light-hearted, devil-may-care young rebel. But now, there is no turning back, and to make matters worse, the autocratic martinet, Lieutenant Harris, can't wait to see them quit. Then, a full-scale riot breaks out, and the inexperienced but dauntless cadets will have to put their training to good use. Do they have what it takes to be law-enforcement officers?


I remember seeing this film for the first time as a kid and one I was not supposed to be seeing. My dad loved this film so watched it often. It is a classic 80s ensemble comedy that offers up plenty of silly laughs and fun. While it really is following Guttenberg more than anyone, the entire cast carry this film and make it work. All of them bring their own unique brand of laughs to the film and it is just as funny now as it was when it first came out. Part of what makes it work is the willingness of everyone here willing to go in and they do just that. The film knows what it is and just goes all in with the ridiculousness of it all.

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment follows Commandant Eric Lassard, Officer Carey Mahoney, along with five other top graduates who find themselves transferred to the worst precinct in the city, run by Eric's brother, Captain Pete Lassard. As the town holds a record for crime rates, mainly because of the "Scullions", the mean local gang of the unhinged crime boss, Zed, the inexperienced recruits have a lot on their plate, while in the meantime, power-hungry Lieutenant Mauser is dreaming of making a name for himself. Now, only Mahoney and a coordinated undercover mission can thwart Mauser's plans. But, can the world's most eccentric police officers save the day?


This second entry is one of those films where a lot of the moments you remember or quote are actually from as opposed to the original. Heading into it there is always the fear of it losing the magic and laughs of the original, but this one does just that. The addition of Bobcat Golthwait and Kazurinsky took this film in a new even sillier direction which is surprising that would even be possible. Their ongoing conflicts is hilarious and both were clearly meant to be one off characters, but managed to make their mark and become regulars for a bit. This film not only worked for me, but made me want more entries just to see these crazy characters in all their silly glory.

Police Academy 3: Back in Training follows Officer Carey Mahoney and the rest of the original graduates find themselves with their backs to the wall. It seems that, due to funding cutbacks, there can only be one police institution in the city, and Commandants Lassard and Mauser must do their best to get Governor Neilson's approval. Of course, conniving Mauser has already concocted an ingeniously evil plan to sabotage his rivals. Can Mahoney, along with a handful of recruits, save the day and their beloved academy?


There is no reason a third entry int his series should work, but the usual addition to new characters along with the returning cast deliver. As much as I missed B.W. Baily’s Captain Harris in this and the previous film I love the duo of Art Metrano as Lt. Mauser and his bumbling sidekick Proctor played hilariously by Lance Kinsey. They kept the same formula intact with the rest of the gang while bringing something new to the mix. Honestly, I didn’t even remember Guttenberg did any of these past the second one, let alone the fourth one as well. To my surprise I still enjoyed this one as well once again the Goldthwait and Kazurinsky partnership, this time as officers. These continued to be fun flicks that had no business still working.

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol follows Commandant Eric Lassard, who is onvinced that his loyal police force is overworked, and above all, understaffed comes up with a bold idea: why not recruit eager civilians to lend a hand in crushing crime? With this in mind, the ambitious "Citizens On Patrol" crime-fighting program comes to life; nevertheless, the duplicitous and always slimy arch-rival of the Police Academy (1984), Captain Harris, is bent on sabotaging the operation, having ulterior motives. Can Officer Mahoney, and the rest of the team, get the recruits into shape, and get, once more, Lassard out of the tight spot?


As mentioned in this fourth outing I was surprised Guttenberg was still around because I swore he only did the first two. I am not complaining as I love Mahoney and he still seemed to be having a good time here along with the rest of the cast. It kind of feeds off everything they had already set in motion in the last film and kept the usual formula so manages to still entertain. I was excited to see the return of G.W. Bailey as Captain Harris, who stayed from here on out with Proctor now working alongside him to continue the wacky duo fun. I got used to Metrano and did miss him here. I was always hoping we would get them together at some point. Filled with more jokes, laughs, silliness and over the top antics it delivered for me once again complete with a hot air balloon stunt clearly inspired by Jackie Chan’s from Armour of God.

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach follows conniving Captain Harris who wants to take over the ageing Commandant Lassard's job, and step into his shoes. This time, the perfect opportunity arises in the shape of the prestigious "Police Officer of the Decade" convention in sunny Miami Beach, to commemorate Lassard's dedication to the force; however, a fateful encounter with an audacious trio of diamond thieves leads to a dangerous, high-speed chase across the Everglades. Now, it is up to Commandant Lassard's nephew, Sergeant Nick Lassard, and the Academy's loyal graduates to save the day. Can the boys thwart Harris' plans?


Of course the films weren’t as strong by this point, but the change of locale helps it. Most of the original cast are still on board as well as some of the more recent new additions. With the many changes it allowed some of the originals to finally get more stuff to do and really flex their chops. I still had some fun with this one even with some of the jokes falling flat. This also brought in the new addition to the franchise that kind of takes the place of Mahoney in Nick Lassard played by Matt McCoy. He is a good straight man, but no one can replace Mahoney and he isn’t trying to. Yes he still plays up the pranks, but he is more of a straight police officer so fills the void fine. It did lose something with the loss of Guttenberg, Goldthwait and Kazurinsky to the cast. They never founbd anyone to fully fill that void, but still manages to entertain.

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege follows a spate of robberies in the stylish Wilson Heights district terrorizes the city. Then, to make matters worse, when the trio of cat-burglars manages to pull off a daring heist right under the nose of Captain Harris, it is up to Commandant Lassard and a band of loyal graduates to stop the wave of thefts. Now, as a mole is leaking valuable information, only a well-organized undercover operation can expose the mysterious "Mastermind", the one behind the gang's crime spree. Can Lassard's finest crack the case of the Wilson Heights Gang?


These last two entries I couldn’t remember if I had ever seen. After revisiting this one I do remember it and was surprised I was still entertained by it. Sure, it is nowhere near the level of the early films, but the cast still seem to be all in and bring the funny. A lot more of the jokes do fall flat and are often time cringy, but still funny. This whole series has always hinged on the cast and they make it work. Like most of the films the biggest laughs come from Harris and Proctor and are more over the top and ridiculous than ever. Sadly this would be the last time we would see the duo with Kinsey stepping out of the final entry.

Police Academy: Mission to Moscow follows rampant Russian Mafia boss, Konstantine Konali, who has made a fortune promoting his best-selling computer game, dreaming of infiltrating into the globe's top-notch security systems for world domination. In despair, Commandant Rakov calls in Commandant Eric Lassard to lend a hand in stopping the megalomaniac, and before long, the experienced team flies to Moscow for the ultimate confrontation, old-school style. Can Lassard's veterans pull off a surprise victory in their challenging mission to Moscow?


This final outing is easily the weakest of the bunch. It still has plenty of laughs, but there are so many of the original cast sitting this one out that it fails to fully connect. It is an interesting attempt to do something different and go international with the story, but makes little sense overall. This sets the stage for more ridiculous antics and the usual formula, but falls flat most of the time. It felt like the jokes were with fewer and far between or just not all that good. The ones that struggle in the previous film were at least entertaining and offered something. Here they often felt forced and just sad. It plays up more like a TV movie entry than anything. I was happy to get to see these characters one last time, but it didn’t do any of them any justice to their legacy.

In addition to all seven films in the franchise this release offers up bonus content including additional scenes, trailers, featurettes (both old and new), featurettes and so much more.


Head back out on patrol and grab your copy of The Police Academy Collection available now from Shout Factory.


For more information or to order your copy head over to

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