Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986)

police academy 3 back in training poster 1986 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 5/10

Bobcat Goldthwait

Cheap and lazy comedy

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Police Academy 3:  Back in Training

Studio:  Warner Bros. Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  March 21, 1986

MPAA Rating:  PG


Hooks and Callahan will rock you!

The city isn’t big enough for two police academies and now it is a face-off between the police academy of Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes) and the police academy of Commandant Mauser (Art Metrano).  With a big review coming up, Lassard calls back in his best police officers led by Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg) to make the new recruits ship-shape!  Unfortunately, Mauser has sabateurs in the police academy and coming out on top might be harder than Lassard thought.

Directed by Jerry Paris, Police Academy 3:  Back in Training is a sequel to Police Academy 2:  Their First Assignment from 1985.  Like most Police Academy films, it received poor reviews but was a box office moneymaker.  The film was the first film in the series to be rated PG and is often sold with other Police Academy film in collection packs.

When you saw Police Academy as a kid, it was like seeing something your parents didn’t want you to see.  Police Academy played the ultimate trick on viewers by tricking younger kids into thinking they were seeing something dirty while providing lowbrow basic comedy.


Easy Rider circa 1986

The movie follows the format of almost all of the Police Academy films.  It features a group of cadets who despite their problems come out on top.  This time (like the previous entry), the foil is Mauser who runs the rival school.  The cadets inevitably have tons of hijinks…by now, it is so formulaic that it is almost boring and leading up to the inevitable “chase” scene where the cadets show their stuff.

Though Steve Guttenberg is the star of the film, he’s backed by a nice supporting that feels very familiar by now.  Be it David Graf, Bubba Smith, Michael Winslow, or Marion Ramsey, the cast knows their roles and play them up.  I never liked Art Metrano as the enemy in the series and much preferred G.W. Bailey who returned in the next film.  The big addition to this movie is Bobcat Goldthwait as an actual cadet (he’s reformed from Police Academy 2), and the movie often just becomes the Zed and Sweetchuck film (played by Tim Kazurinsky).


Gotta have a waverunner chase!

The movie looks like an ’80s movie.  The movie ends with a big chase scene with the capture of the Governor Neilson (Ed Nelson) and a big boat/waverunner chase.  At the time the movie was made, waverunners were relatively new (they used a few different types in the movie) and I can remember it was quite cool…now even that has lost its novelty.

Police Academy 3:  Back in Training might entertain kids but its dated look probably won’t even do that.  The movie is product of the period and will hold some nostalgia for fans of the series who watched it when they were young.  Police Academy 3:  Back in Training was followed by Police Academy 4:  Citizens on Patrol in 1987.

Related Links:

Police Academy (1984)

Police Academy 2:  Their First Assignment (1985)

Police Academy 4:  Citizens on Patrol (1987)

Police Academy 5:  Assignment:  Miami Beach (1988)

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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