Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988)

police academy 5 assignment miami beach poster 1988
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Nostalgia non-ironic '80s movie

Kids humor that kids probably wouldn't even like today

Movie Info

Movie Name: Police Academy 5:  Assignment:  Miami Beach

Studio: Warner Bros.

Genre(s): Comedy

Release Date(s): March 18, 1988

MPAA Rating: PG

Jaws better stay away from Miami Beach and Tackleberry!

Captain Thaddeus Harris (G.W. Bailey) has a plot to take control of the police academy by forcing Commandant Eric Lassard (George Gaynes) into retirement.  With his nephew Nick (Matt McCoy) in attendance, Lassard and his favorite recruits are headed to Miami Beach for a special honor for Lassard.  Unfortunately Lassard accidentally crosses paths with diamond thieves led by Tony (René Auberjonois) headed to Miami to drop off their score and gets ahold of the loot.  Now, Tony and his men are after the diamonds and the officers of the police academy must stop them!

Directed by Alan Myerson, Police Academy 5:  Assignment:  Miami Beach is a comedy action film.  Following Police Academy 4:  Citizens on Patrol in 1987, the film was released to negative reviews but a positive box office return.

As a kid (aka pre-teen), Police Academy movies were great.  I can remember seeing this movie in the theater with a friend and his family and laughing and laughing…because I was 12.  With that, I have a sentimental favoritism toward Police Academy even though the movies aren’t even “so-bad-they-are-good”.

police academy 5 assignment miami beach gw bailey dork lance kinsey

They’re wacky!

The movie is a typical Police Academy movie down to a strict formula.  You have the characters engaged in wacky behavior (primarily involving the foils Harris and the crook Tony) and then the movie ends in a semi-action based adventure/chase.  The jokes are repetitive from the first films and you long for the original Police Academy which was allowed to do dirty jokes due to the R-Rating (but by this point kids were probably the only ones propelling this series).

The movies have gotten more and more ridiculous, but the loss of more of the original first four film core cast has hurt them.  With no Guttenberg, Goldthwait, or even Kazurinsky, the movie feels lacking.  Bubba Smith, Michael Winslow, David Graf, Marion Ramsey, and Leslie Easterbrook are fine, but the story primarily feels like a George Gaynes, G.W. Bailey, Lance Kinsey, and Matt McCoy movie with the other officers “guest starring”.  They just don’t fit into the storyline well.

police academy 5 assignment miami beach george gaynes rene auberjonois

Got to have an air boat chase!

The movie is also everything you’d expect visually in a movie going to Miami.  Miami Vice of course was popular at the time so you have the beaches, the hotels, parties, and of course an airboat chase through the Everglades.  It is cheap and cheap looking…but it did make me want to go on an airboat in the Everglades.

Police Academy 5:  Assignment:  Miami Beach (and really any Police Academy after Police Academy 3 if I’m being generous) is just there.  It is a time waster that doesn’t hurt much, but it also could be replaced with much better comedies in similar veins.  It is nice to go back to a throwback ’80s movie that isn’t a parody of ’80s comedy films, but sticking to the lower Police Academy movies is probably recommended. Police Academy 5:  Assignment:  Miami Beach was followed by Police Academy 6:  City Under Siege in 1989.

Related Links:

Police Academy (1984)

Police Academy 2:  Their First Assignment (1985)

Police Academy 3:  Back in Training (1986)

Police Academy 4:  Citizens on Patrol (1987)

Police Academy 6:  City Under Siege (1989)

Police Academy:  Mission to Moscow (1994)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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