It's a C.O.P. Out
Like a common cold "Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol" arrived in 1987 and in the same way that you know what to expect from a cold you also knew what to expect from this 4th movie. It goes through what by 1987 were familiar stages as it delivered a story about civilians going through a lighter version of training at the police academy and delivered exactly the same jokes and ideas which had been funny back in 1984 when "Police Academy" came out. To put it simply there is absolutely nothing new in "Police Academy 4" as it goes over familiar territory and was another downward step for the franchise which shockingly would carry on for a few more years after this less than spectacular outing.
Commandant Eric Lassard (George Gaynes) comes up with an idea to make relations between the public and police a little smoother by offering civilians a chance to train under his new "C.O.P. - Citizens on Patrol" programme. And in order to make it work he turns to his old friends Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), Jones (Michael Winslow), Hightower (Bubba Smith) and so on to run it, imparting their wisdom to the civilians. But not everyone is in favour of his programme, especially Captain Thaddeus Harris (G.W. Bailey) who having been put in charge of the Academy whilst Lassard is in the UK on official business takes the opportunity to shut it down.
I suppose if you watched "Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol" without having seen any of the previous movies it may actually come across as being quite good. But then for those who have loyally and some may say foolishly followed the series will struggle with the fact that there is nothing in the least bit new in this 4th movie. Yes we have this idea of civilians being given some police training under the guidance of those familiar faces who have graduated over the years. But in reality it is just more police academy training hi-jinx with a mixed bag of characters who all shockingly share characteristics with the originals from the gun loving Mrs. Feldman through to slacker Kyle.
And so with a bunch of familiar characters both new and old we also get the now obvious problem of Mahoney and everyone having trouble with a superior who doesn't like the idea of civilians getting training, which means G.W. Bailey returns as Captain Harris. And as in the previous movies this hapless bunch of accident prone civilians end up coming good by the time the movie ends as they foil some real criminals.
Basically every second of "Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol" is just a rehash of the previous 3 movies right down to the jokes. So yet again we have Michael Winslow doing his lips out of synch Bruce Lee Impression, Leslie Easterbrook as the well endowed Sgt. Debbie Callahan and Captain Harris once more being the butt of plenty of tom foolery. Now once upon a time the jokes were funny, the timid Hooks suddenly roaring like a lion did make you laugh as did Mahoney's eye for a pretty woman which this time sees him set his sights on reporter Claire Mattson played by Sharon Stone. But it all seems so tired and pointless this time around to the point that I actually found myself struggling to laugh at any of the jokes. It struggles so much that it even resorts to Leslie Easterbrook as the well endowed Sgt. Debbie Callahan in a wet T-shirt.
And sadly the acting gets little better and you get a sense that all those regular faces were becoming tired of delivering the same old shit. It means that the likes of Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith and Michael Winslow all look like they are on autopilot. And to be honest the new faces such as Billie Bird as Mrs. Feldman and David Spade as Kyle fail to add any oomph to the movie, in fact David Spade looks almost cheesed off to be in such an unoriginal movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol" once again is another weaker episode in the Police Academy franchise. There is absolutely nothing new to this 4th outing and so we get the same old jokes and plot ideas which had filled the previous movies. And as such for those loyal followers of what originally was an amusing movie will no doubt be disappointed.