Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Crime


Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) Poster

The misfit Police Academy (1984) graduates now are assigned to train a group of civilian volunteers to fight crime once again plaguing the streets.


4.9/10
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  • Sharon Stone and Steve Guttenberg in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)
  • Tim Kazurinsky in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)
  • G.W. Bailey in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)
  • Sharon Stone and Steve Guttenberg in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)
  • Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)
  • Bubba Smith and Tab Thacker in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)

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29 December 2003 | mentalcritic
Why? Why did they let it get this far???
Indeed, that is the question many were asking in 1987, as the series soon turned into too much of a not so good thing. Sadly, it was only going to get worse from here. I've tried no less than three times to sit through Mission To Moscow, and it is just impossible. About the only reason to bother with episodes three through six is so you can see the final episode where Cast Member X decided they'd had enough. Or when Event Number X that was referenced in a sequel took place.

Another big problem with PA4 (and boy, there are many) is the change in target audience. Sure, episodes 1 through 3 could be enjoyed by children with two digits in their age, but the primary audience was adults who didn't have very high standards. Unfortunately, someone in the film studio must have decided that the writers have to please everybody, and so they watered down the humour as far as they could without getting a G rating. That, more than anything, is what hurts Police Academy sequels 4 onwards.

Steve Guttenberg must have taken one look at the finished product and wondered why he didn't quit about three films ago. Bob Goldthwait picks up the slack in terms of comedy, but his act is also watered down a tad too far, ditching any vocal expression of his character in favour of shouting and screaming at anyone and everyone. Which might work for a comedy about mental patients who have been neglected by the system for too long, but not when your character is meant to be a police officer. But then again, the whole premise is built on a notoriously shaky ground.

Every Police Academy film has at least one celebrity (other than George Gaynes) who wishes they had never appeared in the film. Sharon Stone gets her turn her, and despite what they say about her appearance in everything after Basic Instinct, at least she looks capable of acting. But amongst this lot, I'm sure a dead goldfish would appear to be emoting effectively.

Overall, PA4 gets a 2 out of ten from me. It stands as a good relic of what happens when you try to appeal to everyone, and it does have some genuinely funny moments, but it just cannot hold a candle to its predecessors, especially the first.

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Comedy | Crime

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