Police Academy 3: Back in Training

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Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Police Academy 3 film.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Drew Struzan
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Gene Quintano
Based on
Produced by Paul Maslansky
CinematographyRobert Saad
Edited by Bud Molin
Music by Robert Folk
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • March 21, 1986 (1986-03-21)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million [1]
Box office$107.6 million [1]

Police Academy 3: Back in Training is a 1986 American comedy film directed by Jerry Paris. It is the third installment of the Police Academy franchise and the sequel to Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment .


Despite receiving generally negative reviews, [2] it was an overall box office success, earning $107 million against a budget of $12 million.


In a large parking garage, Commandant Mauser (Art Metrano) and Captain Proctor (Lance Kinsey) meet with Sgts. Chad Copeland (Scott Thomson) and Kyle Blankes (Brant van Hoffman) from Commandant Lassard's police academy. One of the two police academies is going to be phased out by the state government due to budgetary restraints, and Mauser wants them to ensure Lassard fails. Agreeing to the plan, they see it as revenge against Lassard for graduating them at the bottom of their class.

The following day, after the governor (Ed Nelson) announces he will appoint a committee to evaluate which academy will remain open, Mauser lightly cajoles him. Sgt. Jones (Michael Winslow) undermines him by subtly humiliating him in front of the governor. Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes) realizes how to win: with Sgt. Jones and Lt. Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook), he calls back Sgt. Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), Sgt. Hooks (Marion Ramsey), Sgt. Hightower (Bubba Smith), and Sgt. Tackleberry (David Graf) as trainers for the new recruits.

Among those are Sgt. Fackler's (Bruce Mahler) wife Violet (Debralee Scott), who he opposes joining the force; Sweetchuck (Tim Kazurinsky) and Zed (Bobcat Goldthwait), who have a history as Zed's gang had harassed him when he was a small shop owner; Karen Adams (Shawn Weatherly), a beautiful young woman Mahoney is attracted to but who rejects him; and Tackleberry's brother-in-law Bud Kirkland (Andrew Paris). Tomoko Nogata (Brian Tochi), initially a recruit of Mauser's academy, is transferred by Mauser into Lassard's instead, in the hopes of sabotaging it.

After a few weeks of training, Nogata is lovestruck by Callahan. Sweetchuck contemplates quitting, as his assigned roommate Zed drives him crazy; but Tackleberry dissuades him, taking him under his wing. Copeland and Blankes make the recruits do things so the committee questions their competence. At the recruits' initial failure, Mauser and Proctor tease them. In retaliation, Mahoney tapes Mauser's eyes closed with extremely strong tape while doing a taste test. Proctor removes the tape, but unintentionally pulls off Mauser's eyebrows.

Lassard and Mahoney give a pep talk to the cadets before training resumes. Adams finally warms up to Mahoney after the talk, and they bond. At the policepersons' ball, Mahoney sees his prostitute friend (Georgina Spelvin), and after Proctor insults him and Adams, he has her trick Proctor into stripping naked and then locks him out of the hotel room. Trying to get back to the academy, Proctor accidentally enters the Blue Oyster Bar. Meanwhile, Mauser insults Lassard in front of the recruits by telling him that he is winning. Mahoney retaliates by giving a speech at the ball and puts the microphone in water, so when Mauser grabs it, he gets a shock.

On the final day of the cadet training/evaluation competition, one recruit from each academy attends the governor's ball (Proctor misunderstands and sends two, one of whom is portrayed by David James Elliott). Copeland and Blankes attempts to manipulate the computer system, deliberately sending patrol cars to the wrong locations, but are caught in the act, and Hooks knocks them out. At the governor's party, a gang of thieves dressed as busboys rob the guests, taking the governor hostage. Mauser's cadets promptly faint upon being threatened by the thieves, but Lassard cadet Hedges (David Huband) alerts Mahoney, and Lassard and his crew immediately set out to help. Mauser's academy is ineffective in reacting to the emergency, but Lassard's squad arrives in time to fight off the thieves and rescue the governor.

The governor shuts down Mauser's academy for failing to stop the robbery at the party, so Lassard's stays open. In the epilogue, Lassard speaks about the academy's gratitude for the "many, many" recruits. The graduating class salutes the camera as the film ends.


Lassard Academy

Mauser Academy

Lassard's Cadets

Mauser's Cadets




As with other films in the series, the film was shot primarily in Toronto, Ontario, Canada [ citation needed ]. The city skyline is clearly identifiable in the concluding 'yacht club' scenes. There is also the scene where the female recruit drives the police car up and over a dirt pile out of an alley. At the end of the alley, there is a Toronto Sun paper box. The city grid shown on the computerized dispatch system also shows a map of downtown Toronto streets, with the detail bordering between Trinity, Yonge, and Queen streets, and the Gardiner Expressway. In the scene in which Tackleberry shoots out the television screen with his gun, a Canada Dry soda machine is visible in the background next to a 'C' Plus soda machine, an orange-flavoured sparkling beverage that is only sold in Canada.


Box office

The film debuted at number one at the box office in the United States. [3] The film grossed $43,579,163 in the United States making it the 17th highest-grossing film of 1986 in the United States. [4] It faced stiff box office competition from many other high-profile comedy films released early that year such as Back To School , Ruthless People , Ferris Bueller's Day Off , Down And Out In Beverly Hills , Legal Eagles , Short Circuit , Running Scared , The Money Pit , Gung Ho , Hannah and Her Sisters , Wildcats , and Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling . The film grossed $107,639,000 worldwide from a budget of $12 million. [1]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 36% based on reviews from 11 critics. [5] On Metacritic, it has a score of 33 out of 100 based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". [6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+. [7]

Variety wrote: "Cast of cartoon misfits is still basically intact and if Police Academy 3 has any charm it’s in the good-natured dopeyness of these people. No bones about it, these people are there to laugh at." [8] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote: "The most you can say for “Police Academy 3: Back in Training” (citywide) is that it’s no worse than “Police Academy 2"—which was awful." [9]

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  1. 1 2 3 Block, Alex Ben; Wilson, Lucy Autrey, eds. (2010). George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success . HarperCollins. p.  631. ISBN   9780061778896.
  2. "Movie Reviews : 'Police Academy 3' Is Not The Ticket". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  3. "Police Academy 3' Opening Steals Top Box-office Spot". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  4. Police Academy 3: Back in Training at Box Office Mojo
  5. "Police Academy 3". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved 2023-11-25.
  6. "Police Academy 3". Metacritic . Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  7. "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  8. Variety Staff (1 January 1986). "Police Academy 3 – Back in Training". Variety.
  9. KEVIN THOMAS MARCH 24, 1986. "Movie Reviews : 'Police Academy 3' Is Not The Ticket". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2020-05-04.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)