Film review: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege

Published: Monday, April 3 1989 12:00 a.m. MDT

It's hard to believe that "Police Academy" is up to No. 6 already. It feels like No. 37.

It's also hard to believe that by the sixth in a series these films are still recycling the same old gags.

"Police Academy 6: City Under Siege" has all the same cast members returning as the same characters (minus Steve Guttenberg and Bobcat Goldthwait, who bailed out after No. 4), and each gets his or her moment in the sun with variations of things they've done in five earlier movies:

Bubba Smith as Hightower is huge, of course, and uses his strength to knock down doors and take on a villain as big as he is; David Graf as Tackleberry is the "Dirty Harry" of the group, carrying a grenade as others would a watch; Leslie Easterbrook is buxom Callahan, attracting men with her tight-fitting outfits, then repelling them with a show of strength;

Michael Winslow is Jones, using his incredible sound-effects abilities here as he has in the past, to embarrass the pompous and frighten the bad guys (believe it or not, he even repeats his kung fu bit for the third or fourth time);

Marion Ramsey is Hooks, the soft-spoken woman who invariably roars for punchline effect at the end of her scene; Bruce Mahler is Fackler, the klutzy "Inspector Clouseau" of the team; George Gaynes is befuddled Commandant Lassard; and G.W. Bailey is the harrassed Capt. Harris, aided by bumbling Lance Kinsey as Proctor.

Two familiar faces added this time around are Kenneth Mars as the looney mayor and Gerrit Graham as one of the idiot criminals on a robbing spree, which prompts the reuniting of the "Police Academy" regulars as an investigative team. Same old jokes, same tired formula, same, same, same. I wish this wouldbecome a TV series. Then Joseph Walker would have to review it instead of me. (Or did I say that in my review of "No. 5"?)

In fact, the only time I managed a chuckle was during Winslow's hilarious Jimi Hendrix imitation, which I had seen before on a talk show. Even that was undermined, however, by being cut short.

What can I say? If you've seen one "Police Academy" film, you've seen them all.

Interestingly, "No. 6" has a bit less emphasis on vulgarity, indicating that the filmmakers know where their primary audience is — in grade school.

"Police Academy 6" is rated PG for comic violence, a couple of profanities and one or two vulgarities.

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