Police Academy

How a bunch of antiauthoritarian misfits learns to shape up, take orders, and beat up other antiauthoritarian misfits—in short, a Reagan-era comedy a la Stripes, though without a hint of that film's redemptive casualness and character work. The police cadets—they include Steve Guttenberg and Kim Cattrall—are ciphers with just enough personality to irritate; the director—TV veteran Hugh Wilson—doesn't even try to bring them to life, but instead drags them through a series of locker-room jokes that must have seemed stale when grandpa was in diapers. The poverty of imagination, ambition, and visual detailing is suffocatingly oppressive—it's a movie that might have been dreamed up by the ten-year-old creep in Joe Dante's episode of Twilight Zone.

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