Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986, directed by Jerry Paris)


Police Academy 3 opens with a state in the middle of a fiscal crisis.  Money has to be saved somewhere and the governor (Ed Nelson) has decided that it’s not necessary for the state to have two police academies.  I am not sure why the governor would be the one to make that determination since the previous two Police Academy films established that the academies are run by the city but I guess I should remember that I’m watching a Police Academy film and not ask too many questions.

Which academy is going to be closed down?  Will it be the academy run by Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes) or the one run by Commandant Mauser (Art Metrano, returning from the second film)?  Mauser is willing to use any dirty, under-handed trick to keep his academy open.  Meanwhile, Lassard has his most recent graduating class returning to instruct his latest batch of recruits.  Can Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg) and Michael Winslow’s human sound effects machine save the academy?

When I watched Police Academy 3 this weekend, I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t as bad as I remembered.  Maybe it’s because I watched it immediately after the first two films and my senses were dulled but Police Academy 3 turned out to be an amiable and enjoyably stupid comedy. It helped that two of the new recruits were played by Tim Kazurinsky and Bobcat Goldthwait.  Returning to the roles that they first played in the second movie, Kazurinsky and Goldthwait make for a good comedic team.  As for the rest of the Police Academy regulars, they all do their usual comedy bits like pros and without any fuss.  It’s predictable and sometimes, funny.

Police Academy 3 was the first Police Academy film to have a PG-rating and, as a result, the jokes were still as juvenile and crude as the first two movies but, at the same time, Police Academy 3 seems to have made peace with the fact that it’s target audience was a bunch of adolescent boys dropped off at the theater by their mothers.  Mauser is still regularly humiliated but no one gets a blow job while standing in front of a podium.  This is a Police Academy for the entire family, assuming that your family is easily amused and not too demanding.

Police Academy 3 is a dumb movie and the recurring joke about policemen accidentally entering the Blue Oyster Bar is even less funny the third time that it’s used.  There’s also a Japanese recruit who only seems to be included because, back in the 80s, American films were obsessed with making fun of Japan.  Despite all that, Police Academy 3 is still not as bad as the usual Police Academy sequel.

But what about Police Academy 4?  Check in tomorrow to find out if it’s also better than I initially remembered.

(It’s not.)

2 responses to “Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986, directed by Jerry Paris)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 4/27/20 — 5/3/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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