Police Academy (1984) Movie Review

Police Academy PosterPolice Academy

  • Rating – R
  • March 1984
  • Director – Hugh Wilson
  • Steve Guttenberg – Carey Mahoney
  • Kim Cattrall – Karen Thompson
  • G.W. Bailey – Lt. Harris
  • Bubba Smith – Moses Hightower
  • George Gaynes – Commandant Lassard


Mahoney!  Remember, That Nobody Screws With Me

For people who don’t know, Police Academy was a huge franchise in the 80s that started with this movie.  Even though the critics didn’t care for it, it spawned 6 sequels and a kid’s cartoon.  The series was mostly low brow comedy that falls into the same categories as other movies like Stripes and Naked Gun.

As a child I remember one summer we had a family reunion with all my cousins in California.  To keep us busy at night, the adults rented us a different Police Academy every night.  I remember looking forward to it, because I thought the series was funny.  Then again, when you’re a child you find loaded diapers funny.  Anyways, let’s see if the original is still funny.

Mahoney hitting on the ladies
Thank You Sir, I Make Everybody Sick

The newly elected female mayor decides to make a policy to recruit anybody willing to enlist in law enforcement.  Before there were restrictions based on height, education, physical fitness, and etc.  This decision was made because of the shortage of police officers.  This new policy made police officers worry about the new breed of recruits coming in.

We are then introduced to various misfits who about to enlist into the police academy.  From a security guard who takes his job too seriously to an over weight person who is afraid to fight back when being bullied.  Then eventually we come to Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenburg).

Mahoney is known for getting in trouble, and is finally given an ultimatum after deliberately damaging a car while parking.  He was given the choice to either go to the police academy or go to jail.  It was an offer made by Captain Reed, a friend Mahoney’s father, who was also a police officer.

When arriving to the academy, Mahoney decides he knows how to get out of his predicament, by getting himself kick out.  Can Mahoney’s wise cracking attitude get himself kicked out or will he actually graduate?  What about the other new recruits?

Can I borrow that
Tackleberry!  Do You Understand Numbnuts

Police Academy is here to make you laugh and nothing more.  Does the jokes still hold up.  I thought so.  This film introduced many cliche, but memorable characters in the 80s such as the giant Hightower (Bubba Smith) to gun crazy Tackleberry (David Graf) and the sound effect master Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow).

The story is not original, in fact some might say it copies Bill Murray’s 1981 Stripes, where a bunch of misfits join the army.  Though the story is nothing creative, it does help introduce interesting characters and some unforgettable situations.

Not everything is funny here, but I never found myself bored with the movie.  Even though, I knew some of things that were going to happen, I did still laugh.  I had fun seeing Mahoney and the new recruits handle new situations that the academy throws at them.

The stars to watch are of course Mahoney, and Lt. Harris (G.W. Bailey).  Guttenberg in this movie is witty and an entertaining trouble maker to watch.  Bailey plays one of those characters that are funny, but doesn’t realize it.  It’s just hilarious the positions he constantly puts himself in.

High Tower getting mad
Keep Up the Good Work

For people who grew up in the 80s, this still deserves another viewing.  For people who didn’t grew up in the 80s, but enjoy slapstick comedy like Naked Gun, this deserves a viewing.  If you want to see a comedy that doesn’t rely on raunchiness and sex jokes.  This is not a bad pick.  There is swearing and one nudity scene, so maybe this one is not for the kiddies.  Although there was no laugh out moments, I was chuckling through out the movie.  I bought this at the store as a 2 pack DVD with Police Academy 2 for $4.99 which is a pretty good deal.  This is just dumb fun.

Random Info I got from this File:
  • Open the window before throwing one’s books out of the window
  • Don’t give up your guns during a riot
  • If the driver is too big for the car, rip out the seats
  • I swear Lt. Harris invented the texting language (chalk board scene)
  • Creating sound effects is a good skill to have in the police academy
Other Files to check:
  • Stripes
  • Airplane
  • Revenge of the Nerds
File Status:  7 out of 10
Roach on EmailRoach on FacebookRoach on Twitter
Graphic designer by day, and movie blogger whenever I can. Been watching films in the 80s and never lost the love for it. Started Movie Case Files in 2012, and kept writing random reviews ever since. Besides movies, I like watching UFC, collecting retro video games, spending time with the wife, and bacon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *