A film by Jerry Paris

If you have seen any of the Police Academy movies, you know exactly what you are going to get with Police Academy 3: Back in Training . This is a screwball comedy dealing with the police force and a police academy. All of the major protagonists are very likable characters, however, and this has been the charm of the series (at least for those who think the series has charm). It is fun to follow the antics and hijinks of the squad of new recruits as they grow into police officers who always save the day no matter how ridiculous things gets. And no, that is not giving away the ending of any Police Academy movie.

Having graduated from the Academy in the first movie and being given their first assignment in the second movie, Commadant Lassard s (George Gaynes) favorite recruits are called back to help Lassard save his beloved Academy. The city is threatening to close one of its two police academies and there will be an evaluation team deciding which academy will remain open and which will close its doors for good. The competition is between Lassard s Academy and that of Lieutenant Mauser (Art Mertrano). Mauser will stop at nothing to keep his academy open. Lassard calls back his favorite recruits: Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), Tackleberry (David Graf), Hightower (Bubba Smith), Jones (Michael Winslow) and the soft voiced Hooks (Marion Ramsey). They join Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook), a favorite instructor from the first film. Together, they mess things up in the attempt to look good for the evaluation team, but they are earnest enough that they can t help but win you over (all the while you are laughing).

When if first saw this movie ten to fifteen years ago, I loved it (and all the other Police Academy movies). Having grown up a bit, I understand that they aren t particularly great movies, but I still found Police Academy 3 to be a lot of fun to watch. It remains funny, and charming, and reminds me of when I first watched the movie. It is a bit of nostalgia for me. The only downside to this movie: the return of Zed (Bobcat Goldthwait), the former gang leader from the second movie who is now a cadet at Lassard s academy. Naturally. Zed aside, fun movie.