As mentioned in last weeks review of Stripes, Police Academy is another in the underdog stories of the 80’s. Instead of the military, this time we are dropped in the middle of Police Training with some of the most unlikely of recruits to be found.
Today’s Key Movie:
After the Mayor removes all restrictions required to be a Police Officer, the first new group of civilians who enter the Academy find themselves facing challenges like never before. Despite their gross inability to truly be police officers, somehow they not only make it, but excel at it. Starring Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, GW Bailey, Bubba Smith and more, In the vein of Police Squad, and the films of Mel Brooks, this is a zany comedy that could only have come from the 80’s.
Why this movie?
I vividly remember renting this film the moment it came to VHS. While I was probably too young for much of the content, it was one that we ended up watching and instantly I fell in love with the insanity of it. Looking back I know that many of the jokes went over my head but it soon became one that we watched over and over despite the rather ‘mature’ content. This film would later spawn six additional films, a live action tv series and even an animated series to boot. While the humor had a mature take, somehow, the kids of the 90’s embraced it and it became a phenomenon.
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
This depends on your taste for films. This is one that is really a great example of the low-brow comedy style of the early 80’s. These films do not try to be anything they are not by fully embracing their insanity and absurdity therein. The fact that these films hide nothing and never pretend to be anything more than a silly comedy is part of what makes them endearing to this very day. Plus, while the concept of the Underdog making it through impossible odds is not a new one and certainly wasn’t new when this was made, there is something enjoyable about watching a ‘loser’ make something of themselves.
For a short time in the 80’s Steve Guttenberg was king. When Guttenberg showed up in a comedy, we all knew it was going to be something special. Guttenberg had a charm about him that no one could explain. This was a guy who always played the lovable loser and man we fell for it every time. Additionally, the rest of the cast are incredible as well. From the amazing Bubba Smith as Moses Hightower, to the lovely Kim Cattrel as Karen Thompson, somehow this silly film managed finding a cast that really sold it in every scene. We found ourselves rooting for each and every one of them with even the bad guys being appreciated for their roles. The real standout to all of us kids was none other than the incredible sound effects guy, Michael Winslow as Larvell Jones.
Every one of us wanted to be Michael Winslow and be able to create the sound effects this guy could with nothing but his mouth. The guy was amazing, being able to recreate video game sounds, music, and even the sound of walking on soggy grass. This guy was a one man foley team and boy did this movie (and franchise) use his talents to the max. For years, with every release of a subsequent film, the sound of kids making strange noises with their mouths filled the playgrounds and schools driving teachers and parents mad on a daily basis. I can’t count the number of times my mother would tell me to ‘stop making machine gun noises’ at the dinner table.
I mean, check this guy out:
This is one of my favorite films from my youth and remains to this day. It may be silly, it may be immature but man it has a timeless humor that remains fun to this day. While the police are no longer really an organization to find humor in, Police Academy somehow managed to have aged well providing laughs through and through. Just be warned, this is low-brow humor and it makes no attempt to cover that fact up. You just have to sit back and enjoy it in it’s absurdity.
OK, where do I get this movie?
This is one that I highly doubt will every go out of print. You can get a copy here at a good price and, you can also find it packaged with several of the other films in the series as well. If you want some great 80’s humor, this is one and boy is it fun.
As usual, the trailer:
Late To The Game 12/19/2019
If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.
For more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here. and, If you dig Music, I have a semi regular series called Stand Out Albums that covers some of my favorite records I have come across in life.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!