Picks and Pans Review: Police Academy 3: Back in Training

updated 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

All that stands between this movie and nonexistence is the variegated appeal of its cast, still more or less intact from the original. Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, Marion Ramsey, Michael Winslow, David Graf, George Gaynes, Leslie Easterbrook and company are all likable enough and each has a funny riff or two. But director Jerry (TV's Happy Days) Paris and screenwriter Gene (King Solomon's Mines) Quintano offer them almost no support. The only chances for laughs in the film come from Guttenberg's ingratiating womanizing, Smith's calm displays of supermanic strength and Winslow's goofy imitations—the best moment is Winslow doing a badly dubbed character in a martial arts movie. Bobcat Goldthwait, who played a gang leader in Police Academy 2, becomes a recruit this time and has cleaned up his diction a little, though his basic mode of communication is still a giggling howl. Model Shawn Weatherly—star of the unintentionally hilarious TV "docudrama" series oceanQuest—is comely as Guttenberg's new conquest. All the characters seem to be milling around waiting for something to happen, and it never does. The plot has to do with a competition between police academies. But by the time the film gets to its drawn-out finale, everyone, Guttenberg and Smith especially, seems to be tired of the whole project. It's easy to sympathize with them. (PG)

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