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'Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach' (PG)

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
March 19, 1988

There oughta be a law.

Those bumbling boys and girls in blue are back on the streets in "Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach." And they're more moronic than ever -- '80s Keystone Kops dropping their pants, breaking wind and parading their big American "mangoes." Nothing is too degrading for these troupers.

Gradually the more employable members of the original squad, such as Steve Guttenberg (not that he's so great), have gone on to better assignments. But the desperate have returned to reprise their roles in this fifth-rate rehash of the rather wonderful original. "5" is a comic assault, batteries not included, an insufferable collage of coarse slapstick vignettes.

Once again the academites come to the aid of the beloved and befuddled Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes), who is being forced to retire through the plotting of nemesis Lt. Harris (G.W. Bailey). First, Lassard is to give the keynote address at a police chiefs' convention in Florida. Hightower (Bubba Smith), Jones (Michael Winslow), Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook), Hooks (Marion Ramsey) and the new recruit, House (Tab Thacker), accompany him on the trip south. Meanwhile a jewel thief and his sidekicks arrive at the airport, their latest heist hidden in an overnight bag that looks just like Lassard's. He picks up the wrong valise and the fun never begins.

It's Hill Street Blues Bikini Beach Party as the skimpily clad police sirens play volleyball on the seashore, toss Frisbees and karate-chop those who admire their endowments. These are lethal sex objects, with Janet Jones as their arresting martial arts instructress. She takes up with "Academy" newcomer Matt McCoy, as Lassard's nephew Nick. This fairly normal couple provide some relief from the comedy.

Joke sample: The nemesis and his yes man (Lance Kinsey) order "potato coladas" and get the foam on their noses.

Gag sample: House (as in "big as a") is dropped from a helicopter and falls through the roof of a houseboat. Fat is automatically funny, just as breasts are automatically funny in this smutty sequel written by TV sitcom guy Stephen J. Curwick and directed by TV sitcom guy Alan Myerson. The real culprit is producer Paul Maslansky, the creator of the "Academy" films, clearly a man who can never be stopped, not even by a SWAT team of movie critics with blood in their eyes.

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