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‘Police Academy 6: City Under Siege’ (PG)

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
March 11, 1989

In "Police Academy 6: City Under Siege," the humor (kind word, that one) vacillates between the soporific and the moronic. Of course, this is No. 6, so there must be an audience that this particular point is lost on. At this point, though, these movies are reduced to the celluloid equivalent of a "greatest bits" anthology. See Bruce Mahler as Fackler, the walking disaster area; see George Gaynes as Commandant Lassard, the creeping fog; see David Graf as Tackleberry, the human arsenal; hear Michael Winslow as Jones, the ultimate sound effects man.

They're almost all here: Bubba Smith as Hightower, Marion Ramsey as Hooks, G.W. Bailey as Harris, everybody's foil and the one around whom everything seems to revolve. The remarkable thing, perhaps the funniest as well, is that all these folks are "starring" in this movie, which says something both about the movie and about how the concept of "starring" has been utterly debased.

Keystone Kops these guys are not. From the start, the characters have been cartoon figures (in fact, they will be cartoon figures in a new Saturday morning series this fall), but that's no excuse for Xeroxing punch lines and situations. Oh, sure, this one's about a big-city crime wave and an eccentric mayor -- no, it's not "48 Hours" -- but like the series itself, "Police Academy 6" is less a comedy than a commodity. As one of the bad guys says when he's caught, "Ohcrapola!"

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