Movie Name: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date(s): April 3, 1987
MPAA Rating: PG
Crime is on the rise, and Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes) thinks he has an answer. C.O.P. (Citizens on Patrol) is meant to help the people of the city stop crime on their own terms. With a new batch of recruits, Lassard has asked his favorite cadets to train the C.O.P., but Captain Harris (G.W. Bailey) is back and out get Lassard’s job by making sure C.O.P. is a failure.
Directed by Jim Drake, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol is a slapstick-comedy. Following Police Academy 3: Back in Training, the movie was delayed due to the death of Police Academy 3’s director Jerry Paris. The movie was panned by critics and had a so-so showing in the theater. It was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Original Song (“Let’s Go To Heaven in My Car”).
Police Academy movies were a staple as a kid. After the first R-Rated movie, the movies realized their wide appeal and went kid friendly. Seeing the movies, they would sometimes have sex jokes and other salacious moments that as a kid you’d love to see due to the fact it felt like you were seeing something “dirty”. Despite this even as a kid, I realized Police Academy 4 was pretty bad.
The story for the movie is like every other Police Academy film. The “bad” cadets somehow turn the corner and prove they can be good officers and a “real” crisis ends with the cadets (joined by the vets like Mahoney) taking down the bad guys…by Police Academy 4, it is pretty weak.
This film featured the last appearance of a lot of the regular Police Academy players. Mahoney, Copeland, Sweetchuck, Zed, and Nogata all leave after this film. The movie does provide the first film role for David Spade and features appearances by Tony Hawk (as one of Spade’s skater friend). Sharon Stone also appears as Claire Mattson.
The movie is a typical low budget ’80s comedy. It is visuals are pretty standard and cheap. The Woodbine Centre which is where the indoor amusement park scene is set is located in Ontario, Canada and is kind of interesting since it predates places like the Mall of America. Besides this, the movie feels like a downgrade…plus, it is the last time we get to see the Blue Oyster Bar.
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol is for hardcore Police Academy fans. It is a pretty weak entry in the series, but it also shows the future of the series by showing how far the series is falling. Despite the poor quality, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol was followed by Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach.