Top-7 Police Academy Films

The Police Academy series is one of my favorites in the odd-ball team up genre of movies. There in fact aren’t many film series that translate quite so seamlessly to any language (the PA films get aired regularly in my home country as well). Although the general consensus seems to be that the movies somehow magically got progressively less funny with each instalment, not only do I not agree with this view but I think that all Police Academy films have something worth-while about them.

Now, comedy is the least objective film genre from the point of view of making any sort of review, so no-one should take this last as representing anything else except my own personal tastes. And I recommend anyone reading this to also share their favorite Police Academy films and the reasons for them.

  1. Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment – In one of the many “rare” cases of a sequel surpassing the original (people need to get this notion out of their heads because it’s frankly a load of …) Police Academy 2 has always stood out in my mind simply for the gags, the character moments and of course Zed as the most unlikely film villain of all time. They perhaps tried to milk Bobcat Goldwaith’s comedy just a little too hard in the later movies but here it’s awesome, Mahoney going ape shit with his gang-member costume and false (not to mention gay) moustache is hilarious. And as a side note, the repeated gang-leitmotif with its sweeping cool saxophone blasts just get my juices going.
  2. Police Academy – No two ways about it, the original Police Academy is a classic. George Martin’s short-lived romance with Callahan, Mahoney teaching Hightower to drive, the chaos caused by Fackler and the suspenseful finale. Yes, this one is worth a watch no matter which way you look at it. It’s maybe the nudity that bothered me a bit and made me felt that this movie was just trying to push the boundaries just a little harder than was necessary.
  3. Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol – In my view C.O.P. had the strongest combination of supporting actors since the original film, a very, very, very early appearance by David Spade (and by chance Tony Hawk), the introduction of House, Mrs. Feldman and the return of Harris and the Ninja-Battle with Jones, Callahan and Nogata all contributed to an all-out funny movie. The soundtrack also stood out in this one for me. And of course who can forget Hightower doing a Jamaican accent. =D
  4. Police Academy 6: City Under Siege – I think PA6 is extremely under-appreciated because not only did it bring the number of classic PA characters up to seven (with the reintroduction of Fackler) I generally thought it had a good storyline and the match ups between the Wilson Heights Gang against Hightower, Tackleberry and Jones is one of the most memorable moments in the franchise for me.
  5. Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach – This is Lassard’s movie and having Mahoney no longer be a part of the movie did begin to show a little bit. Nick Lassard’s an okay replacement but not exactly the same thing. However, there’s plenty of great gags with Harris and Proctor and as I said, Lassard and his kidnappers really steal the show in this one.
  6. Police Academy 3: Back in Training – The third movie’s main weakness in my view is that it relied a little too heavily on borrowing aspects from the first film, but it has the least memorable character introductions (and no Sweetchuck and Zed don’t count because they were already in the previous film). However, the references back to the first film are what give this film it’s staying power as well and it’s really only the water-scooter chase that doesn’t quite work for me (although it did make me think about the potentials for a WaveRace film).
  7. Police Academy: Mission to Moscow – Now Mission to Moscow isn’t so much guilty of being unfunny but rather for being a film set in a foreign country for the sake of showing off that country. However, this film has many great aspects to it, such as Christopher Lee and Ron Perlman appearing in supporting roles, the news reporter playing a Game Boy without a cartridge in it and generally from the half-way point onward (where Callahan gives us her rendition of Am I Blue?) the movie’s entertainment factor began to steadily rise.