MOVIE REVIEW | ***DUD SEQUEL WEEK*** Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)

I’m not gonna try to convince anyone that the Police Academy franchise is an example of top notch film making by any stretch.  I will say though, that the original is a legitimately funny comedy that established some really memorable, iconic characters.  Sure, those characters were exploited more and more over the subsequent sequels to such a degree that their once fresh and funny quirks quickly became tired and overused clichés, but something about the first movie just worked.

I’ll admit, my affection for Police Academy 3: Back in Training might be pure nostalgia based on the fact that it’s one of the first movies I remember seeing in a cinema.   But all of the sequels, right up to Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, still manage to have a couple of laugh out loud moments.  Why then have I always been scared to watch the seventh, and to date, last, instalment, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow?  I still don’t know what those specific fears were, but after watching it, I do know they were justified.

No Mahoney, but that’s not a deal breaker, he’s been missing since Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach, so I was used to that.  No Proctor, which means no visit to the Blue Oyster Bar, and I have to admit, I was genuinely looking forward to seeing how they incorporated that dated, homophobic old chestnut into the Russian setting.  Sadly, we’ll never know.  What we do get is the return of Commandant Lassard, Tackleberry, Michael Winslow as the increasingly less impressive sound making Jones, big-canned Callahan and constant foil, Lt. Harris.

New this time around, are Ron Pearlman as Russian gangster Constantine Konali and Claire Forlani as hotty cop Katrina, love interest for the faux-Mahoney (real name or character name not worth looking up).  The story has something to do with a video game that sends people crazy or some shit.  I don’t know, I found myself wandering away from the TV a lot during the movie and rarely concentrating.

Two things I did notice though…  Lt. Harris is 100% unnecessary as a character when he’s working with the main group and not actively trying to take them down.  Also, someone in editing decided the sounds made by Michael Winslow weren’t enough for this instalment in the Police Academy franchise, because this thing has more corny sounds than a Warner Brothers cartoon.  Slide whistles when people slip.  Timpani drums when Tackleberry and Harris clash bellies while performing a ballet routine.  Oh yeah, Tackleberry and Harris perform a ballet routine and it’s even less funny than you’re imaging right now.

I can state for a fact that I did not laugh, or even come close to laughing, a single time during Police Academy: Mission to Moscow.  It is a true example of quantity over quality.  The actors all fully commit to absolute ridiculousness of everything the script throws at them, and the writers really do throw hundreds of jokes at the wall, the only problem is, not a single one sticks.  Pearlman can be kind of entertaining when chewing the scenery though.  So, there’s that.

Police Academy: Mission to Moscow
Directed By – Alan Metter
Written By – Randolph Davis, Michele S. Chodos

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