Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988, Alan Myerson)

PA5

In this one – the funniest and most likable of the sequels, which actually has a plot that plays out over 90 minutes – the gang travel to Florida for a police conference. Here are more of the series’s running gags and clichés…

Mahoney flirts and pulls pranks! – Steve Guttenberg has jumped ship and de facto leader Mahoney is no longer in the series. He’s not even mentioned.

Hightower uses his strength! – He kicks a chair across a stage so an about-to-sit-down Lassard doesn’t fall on his arse; rips open an aeroplane door; throws a Frisbee so hard it knocks Proctor off his feet; lifts a man up one-handed; holds a bad guy off a balcony; and wrestles with a crocodile.

Tackleberry shoots! – He considers shooting Harris when he first sees him; scares a passenger on a plane by demonstrating his night stick; points a gun at a shark (“Leave the swimming area now, mister!”); goes so crazy in a shooting range, Callahan has to talk him down like he’s a naughty boy; plays his a handgun in frustration; bursts through a window on a rope; and slides a motorbike into some bad guys.

Jonesey’s sound effects! – A gun cocking, firing, being blown on and put away as Tackleberry mimes shooting Harris; an automated answerphone message and hold music; an airport sensor to annoy Harris; sounds of shaving and playing the violin to amuse a child; motor noises while playing volleyball; parrot squawks; YET MORE kung-fu movie dialogue; a lift’s beep; a radio DJ; a sci-fi noise; and horse neighs (a reference to the first film).

Hooks shouts ‘Dirtbag!’ – She meekly tries to ask a rude man to put out his cigar – when he won’t, she covers him with foam from an extinguisher. She shouts down a loud-hailer into Harris’s face. She goes ape during a crowd-control exercise; and screams “Out of the way, dirtbag!” at a bad guy.

Callahan’s chest! – A couple of boys perv at her cleavage on the plane (“Eyes left!” she commands). One of the baddies refers to her “nice set of papayas”.

Harris shouts ‘Proctor!’ – Harris’s catchphrase (“Move it! Move it! Move it!”) occurs just twice – though Tackleberry also says it at one point. He has ‘dork’ sunburnt into his chest; has his hat set on fire by Proctor; gets injected with sedatives by mistake; and ends up stuck in a massive bass drum.

Lassard is a bit, um, vague! – He stares at his fishbowl when told he has to retire; accidentally throws a letter-opener into a picture of Harris; accidentally knocks a shelf, which sets off a chain reaction of chaos; drops golf balls out of his bag at the airport; knocks the bad guy (Odo from Deep Space Nine) down an escalator; refers to his “best friends” and absent-mindedly points at Callahan’s chest; and assumes being kidnapped is part of a police-procedure exercise, so makes lots of good suggestions to the kidnappers. Most importantly, as my mate Carena will tell you, he carries around a FISH… IN A BOWL… IN A BAG… ON A PLANE.

Obvious replacement characters! – Mahoney’s wisecracking/prank-pulling place on the team has been taken by Lassard’s nephew Nick.

Homophobic!/Racist! – A janitor called Bob rumbles what he thinks is his boss (actually Harris putting on a voice) getting jiggy with a woman in his office. Then Proctor calls out, “Thanks, Bob!” and he assumes gayness. A bad guy says, “Excuse me, Gunga Din,” to a hotel worker in a colonial uniform.

Bare breasts! – A cadet falls over in front of Lassard while collecting her graduation scroll and her face ends up in his crotch. The arse cheeks of Proctor’s wetsuit get worn away after he goes waterskiing without skis. We’re in Miami so there are lots of bikinis; we’re in a PG, so no one takes theirs off.

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