Time for a look into the past with some classic films. In the next few Mondays, we will be exploring films from the 1980s. These films will have to be available on one of three subscription services (Amazon Prime, Disney Plus or Netflix). Let’s see what we can find.
This week’s classic film is Police Academy, currently available on UK Netflix. The original film from 1984, about a group of good hearted misfits that think they can qualify for the police. This film focuses mainly on the antics of Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg) and his band of fellow recruits.
Lt. Harris (G.W. Bailey) is the main foe of the film to Mahoney, he is one of Mahoney’s teachers but does not want to teach him. His bosses want him out and he tries his best to get the unconventional candidates out.
Written as we watched. Minor Spoilers ahead, may sometimes only make sense if you have watched the film too!!
Introduction to the World of Police Academy
The film introduction focuses on the misfit recruits before they get the chance to join the police. It takes awhile for the audience to figure out the nature of the film but once the introduction is done – for sure it is a comedy. From “Tackleberry” and his gun control to “Mahoney” and his parking, it so a comedy.
Once they get to the Academy itself, the arrival scene with all the different characters is terrific. It highlights different types of people and plays on what police thought of it back then. Love the play on tension and the comedy behind it.
The Physical Training
Throughout the training, Harris pushes the recruits and wants the “not fit for police” recruits gone. He pushes their buttons as best he can.
Meanwhile, Sgt Callahan, the buxom blonde teacher is one of the best teachers in the academy. She teaches in intriguing ways and leads to some unfortunate positions. Her character is a bit dated in the film’s view of women.
The Party and the Blue Oyster Bar
We won’t ruin the Blue Oyster Bar, but it puts some of the folks in an awkward position or two. The main recruits end up at a beach celebrating the break in training, it is all very 80s.
The Commandant’s Speech
At the midway point of the film, the best surprise scene for us. The Commandant makes a speech with a surprise waiting for him. It had us in stitches, the use of face expressions and voice control from Lassard (George Gaynes) was terrific.
It is still a good film in our eyes. It is a good “80s” comedy, it has good characters, good slapstick style scenes and a good play on the differences on stereotypes. Stereotypes being who is and cannot be a cop. It gives all the recruits a journey to ride that is up and down with Lt Harris getting the outcome he deserves.
The film does have a dated feel with issues such as race and gender. It does balance it out with those dismissed characters who got put in awkward positions getting the appropriate comeback. Hightower and Sgt Callahan are standout secondary characters for how they take the power back.
This feels like a good movie series to be revamped for a new era. Making sure it still plays on stereotypical behaviour and counters it with rebel recruits. We live in an era with lots of divides, this movie pushes allot of different people together for a common goal.
For More Information
Film was available on UK Netflix at the time of writing. Please check your local providers for more info.