Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) / Comedy-Action

MPAA Rated: PG for language, some violence and some crude humor
Running Time: 88 min.


Cast: Steve Guttenberg, G.W. Bailey, Bob Goldthwait, Michael Winslow, Lance Kinsey, Bubba Smith, George Gaynes, David Graf, Tim Kazurinsky, Sharon Stone, Leslie Easterbrook, Marion Ramsey, David Spade, Scott Thomson, Brian Backer, Billie Bird, Brian Tochi, Tab Thacker, Corinne Bohrer, Randall "Tex" Cobb, Colleen Camp, Derek McGrath, Tony Hawk
Director: Jim Drake
Screenplay: Gene Quintano
Review published December 1, 2004

This is the one where it all fell to crap.  Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol is everything you didn't want to see happen to this once potentially successful series.  At this point, the jokes weren't just lame.  They weren't just retreads from the first three films.  No, they were written as if they belonged in a cartoon, with horrendously dated sight gags, the most juvenile of physical humor, and the most asinine of slapstick. 

Here, the motley crew of wise-cracking police officers are back trying to help out with Cmdt. Lassard's plan to make the city streets safe by giving power to the people.  Adopted by the governor, C.O.P., (or, Citizens on Patrol) lets your average citizen train in the police academy to learn police procedures, so they can nab and bust their own criminals out there.  Captain Harris is back, and doesn't like the idea, so he sees fit to make it fail at the training stage by all means necessary. 

First, let me tell you the only good thing about this movie: Lt. Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook) in a wet t-shirt.  Sadly, they couldn't really make a movie just about that, so they filled up the remaining 90 minutes with some of the dumbest, most childish ideas you could possibly imagine.  A group of three-year-olds could have come up with shenanigans and hijinks more mature than what plays out here.

Why in the world the producers sought to give Gene Quintano a second chance to bury the film series is the biggest quandary of all.  It's just not possible for this script to have taken more than a day to write.  It is little more than a collection of disjointed scenes featuring these wacky characters doing the exact same things they've been doing for over three films.  It's tacky, tasteless, and about as enjoyable as a disemboweling.

Police Academy 4 is strictly for the following people: those who have undergone a botched lobotomy, those who are being held at gunpoint and are being mercilessly tortured by having to screen this, and those people who find it funny to wrestle their little brothers to the ground and pass gas loudly on their head.  The only fun parts of this excruciating fiasco come from watching two future stars, Sharon Stone (Total Recall, The Quick and the Dead) and David Spade (PCU, Dickie Roberts), completely embarrass themselves with their appearances here. 

If only I could be a Citizen on Patrol.  First thing I'd do is round up everyone responsible for this shamefully inane form of cinema and charge them with police brutality of the highest order.  Rodney King was treated better by men in uniform than us, the unfortunate viewers of this infantile crapola.

-- Preceded by Police Academy, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, Police Academy 3: Back in TrainingFollowed by Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, and Police Academy: Mission to Moscow.

Qwipster's rating:

2004 Vince Leo