Attention all units: Slapstick in progress in the vicinity of "Police Academy." Suspects wanted for mugging the camera and possession of night shtiks with intent to incite a laugh riot.
Please respond to this blues burlesque, a uniformly funny hit sure to have a long run. Its target audience -- those who can take their T&A with a grain of assault. Its plot -- a combo of "Animal House" and "An Officer and a Gentleman." Its stars -- a rainbow coalition of hot newcomers and dependable, unexpendable pros.
Chaos comes to the "Academy" when the city's liberal mayor waives age, sex, race, height, weight and mental stability as eligibility requirements for the police force. The policy proves unpopular with the academy instructors assigned to shape up the influx -- fat, frail and frothing at the mouth. They try to break them, but the cadets prevail.
Steve Guttenberg of "Diner," George Gaynes of "Tootsie" and Bubba Smith formerly of the Oakland Raiders lead the energized ensemble recruited by director Hugh Wilson and producer Paul Maslansky for the screwball comedy/social commentary.
G.W. Bailey costars as the chief villain, with Gaynes as the potty Commandant Lassard, brunt of a vulgar gag abetted by porno film queen Georgina Spelvin as a hooker hidden in a lectern.
Yes, it's bawdy, downright dirty and tasteless, too. The cadets are more likely to cop a feel than a plea. Pigs will be pigs, even gals like Leslie Easterbrook as police siren Sgt. Callahan, the academy's physical educator, a Hot Lips Houlihan on a man hunt.
There are some cheap shots, yes. But "Academy" writers Wilson, Neal Israel and Pat Proft don't always take them. For example, Kim Cattrall, as a socialite cadet, is spared the ribbing she took as the libidinous gym teacher in "Porky's." And Marion Ramsey, as a soft-spoken parody of Butterfly McQueen, is given dignity and drive, in the end learning to bark "Stick 'em up, dirt bag" with the best of them.
The filmmakers are crude, true, but their hearts are in the right place. Mostly they celebrate the stereotypes they've created, the ethnic diversity of urban America, the comradeship of boot camp and the heroism of the underdog.
The high-spirited heroes include Guttenberg as the Chevy Chase of parking-lot jockeys; Smith as a florist who can rip up a Honda with his bear hands; Donovan Scott as a Dough Boy with Dirty Harry inside; Bruce Mahler as a guy with glasses and a wife stuck to the hood of his car; and David Graf as his own SWAT team.
The script was rewritten to include dynamic Michael Winslow as Dr. Monsignor Larvelle Jones, a living soundtrack with Dolby lips and a machine-gun tongue.
"Police Academy" is the most uproarious film to come along in years. You have the right to remain silent, but you can't help bt laugh out loud. POLICE ACADEMY -- At area theaters.