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Police Academy 3: Back in Training
1986 - PG - 83 Mins.
Director: Jerry Paris
Starring: Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, Michael Winslow, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Graf and George Gaynes
Review by: John Ulmer
   
They're back. Again. They will be four more times. And there's absolutely nothing you can do about it whatsoever.

Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg) is back with his band of dim-witted officers of the law in this second (*gulp*) sequel in the "Police Academy" series. This time the half-baked, half-mixed plot involves Commandant Lassard's (George Gaynes) Police Academy being threatended to shut down when the city announces one of its academies must close due to funding. A competing academy schemes deviously in childish ways to get Commander Lassard's new cadets to screw up and therefore make Lassard's academy look bad (resulting in the city closing it down) -- and so Carey Mahoney and co. are brought in to restore peace and point out the bad guys for who they are -- typical, immature bad guys in a very, very cliched script!

"Police Academy 3" is the starting point of a very ill-fated series; a series whose downfall began with the very first (and which should have been last) entry, and is now starting to become something so disgustingly hideous and vile that it makes you want to close your eyes and whine. Okay, I'll admit it, as horrible as the first two were, they were passable in a strange sort of way. (It's amazing, the kind of thing that will entertain you at 3:30 in the morning.) But "Police Academy 3" is just awful -- the type of so-called "comedy" that isn't as much a comedy as it is a gigantic sore. I watched it on a truly lazy Sunday afternoon -- which may be why, in my original, older IMDb review, I said it was the type of comedy for people too lazy to mow their lawns on Sundays (something I usually do but had put aside on this particular day for...this...)

Surprisingly, the film was directed by Jerry Paris, the man who helmed Part II in the neverending series. He is both an accredited actor and director, appearing in "The Untouchables" (the TV show, that is), "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and directing some classic television programs, including "The Odd Couple" and "Happy Days." Guessing from the outcome of the two films, you'd never guess that he has any background whatsoever.

Why Warner Bros. thought shoving him towards the general direction of the director's chair was a good idea is beyond me, but the man obviously suffers from a rare disorder among men named Ican'tdirectavitis (a noun meaning "incapable of directing even if the fate of mankind depended on it"). Jerry Paris obviously favors dumb sight gags over intelligent humor. He would be great for some kind of "Three Stooges" remake that I hear the Farrelly Brothers are getting into -- but physical comedy also needs timing just as much as humor of the more psychological kind, something the Farrelly Brothers are good at. (Comedic timing is their perfection.)

But poor Jerry Paris couldn't always have been that bad, what with all those television shows behind him. He's "Vintage Hollywood." Note the "Vintage" part. The man simply lost his touch in the later years, which is quite evident through this putrid material. Jerry Paris passed away in 1986, the year "Police Academy 3: Back in Training" was released into theaters nationwide. With all respect to the man, maybe the fact that he was on his deathbed during the filming of the movie had something to do with its amateuristic style and incompetent humor.

Steve Guttenberg remains unfunny for reasons I pointed out in my recent review of the original chapter in this neverending saga. The movies themselves remain disgraceful for noted reasons, as well. But Bobcat Goldthwait and David Graf remain the only two capable comedians in this film -- and their talents are wasted. I enjoyed the character of Tackleberry (Graf) in the first and second film, and Zed (Goldthwait) in the second. They saved what little was left of the series. But not here -- even they cannot lift this film from becoming a boggled mess of unfunny sight gags, flatulence gags, sound gags, and more sight gags.

There's nothing more shameful than sequels being shipped out one-a-year in an effort to contribute to a pointless, loathed film series -- it's the most evident sign of a cash-in-franchise ever conceived by the scandalous thieves in Tinseltown. Did they expect the remaining small numbers of fans to turn up for...this? Steve Guttenberg, the man with no shame and sense of morality, even turned down the fifth film in this series. The sad thing? Nobody ever said anything about missing him.

The tagline for "Police Academy 3: Back in Training" is "Run for Cover!" Out of the thousands of films I have seen, this tagline is one of the most fitting of all time.

"Run for Cover!"

I couldn't agree more.
 
Movie Guru Rating
A train wreck.  So bad some may find it unintentionally entertaining.
  1 out of 5 stars

 
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