Friday, April 03, 2015
Police Academy 6: City Under Siege
Directed by Peter Bonerz and written by Stephen J. Curwick, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege is the story of the gang of misfit police officers who are tasked to investigate a series of crimes in a section of the city while trying to figure out who has been leaking information for these criminals. The film is another departure of sorts where it revolves into the world of suspense and mystery along with elements of comedy as the misfit band of cops do whatever to take down the bad guys. With returning cast members Bubba Smith, David Graf, Michael Winslow, Leslie Easterbrook, Marion Ramsey, Matt McCoy, Bruce Mahler, Lance Kinsey, George R. Robertson, G.W. Bailey, and George Gaynes reprising their roles from previous films. The film also stars Gerrit Graham, Brian Seeman, Darwin Swalve, and Kenneth Mars as the city’s mayor. Police Academy 6: City Under Siege is a fun but very uneven film from Peter Bonerz.
Following a series of robberies and crimes in a section of the city, a group of police officers work together to stop the criminals while discover that there’s a leak within the group as trouble ensues from within. It’s a film that is a simple suspense story of sorts but also an exploration where a precinct leader in Captain Harris (G.W. Bailey) is trying to nab these criminals himself for his own glory yet manages to bungle his way at every opportunity. Harris is forced to work with Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes) and his team while Harris would talk to the city’s mayor in an attempt to get Lassard out of the case.
It’s a film that has a lot happening but it’s script is very uneven where there’s a lot going on but it is uncertain into where it wants to go. While the villains in the film are essentially hired guns for this mysterious mastermind where his motivations are unveiled. It is clumsily written as the reveal of the mastermind is a bit of a let down as it also becomes very obvious who is the leak that caused all of the trouble for the police. Especially as the script portrays Harris more as the bumbling idiot with his partner Lt. Proctor (Lance Kinsey) in tow while Commandant Lassard and his team are the most competent with their mixture of old-fashioned police work and unconventional methods.
Peter Bonerz’s direction is quite simple in terms of its compositions where it does create some unique close-ups and medium shots. Though there’s a few scenes shot in Toronto, much of it shot in Los Angeles soundstages and back lots to play into a city that is coming undone by crime. There are some unique usage of crane shots to play into the bigness of the city while most of the robberies are presented with a bit of humor and some suspense. Yet, Bonerz is unable to balance it where the mix of the two don’t work in some parts of the film as it gets silly at times where it often involves Captain Harris’ bumbling attempts to capture the criminals. Some of the comedy is inspiring such as a scene where Sgt. Jones (Michael Winslow) entertain people at a comedy club while the film’s climax is exciting where Jones, Sgt. Tackleberry (David Graf), and Lt. Hightower (Bubba Smith) each face off their equals. Overall, Bonerz creates a worthwhile but very messy film about a group of misfit cops dealing with some bad guys.
Cinematographer Charles Rosher Jr. does excellent work with the cinematography as it’s quite straightforward while using some unique lighting for some of the scenes set at night. Editor Hubert C. de la Bouillerie does nice work with some of the editing as it is quite straightforward in terms of capturing the rhythm of the humor and suspense. Production designer Thomas Azzari and set decorator Tom Bugenhagen do fantastic work with the look of the city as well as the precinct office where Commandant Lassard, Captain Harris, and their team try to discuss plans to nab the criminals.
Costume designer Peter Flaherty does terrific work with the costumes as it‘s mostly straightforward to play into what some of the characters wear off-duty. Sound editor Jeff Clark does superb work with the sound to play into the elements of gun and some of the chaos that occurs in the city. The film’s music by Robert Folk is amazing for some of the orchestral themes that plays into the suspense along with the film’s theme music that helps play into its sense of triumph.
The casting by Glenn Daniels and Brad Davis is brilliant as it features notable small roles from Billie Bird as an old society lady that Jones knows, Allison Mack as a young girl who is impressed by Proctor’s bus-driving skills, and Arthur Batanides as Tackleberry’s father-in-law. In the roles of the villainous trio, there’s terrific performances from Darwyn Swalve as the gigantic Ox, Brian Seeman as the acrobatic and martial arts expert Flash, and Gerrit Graham as the skilled gunner Ace. Kenneth Mars is very good as the city mayor who is always having trouble with what to say while talking to Harris about the progress to fight off the bad guys. George R. Robertson is superb as Commissioner Hurst who tries to ensure that things go well while Bruce Mahler is fantastic as Sgt. Fackler who makes his return to the gang after a hiatus as he’s still the accident-prone officer that causes trouble.
Lance Kinsey is very funny as Lt. Proctor as Captain Harris’ aide who tries to help him while realizing that they’re the ones screwing things up. George Gaynes is excellent as Commandant Lassard who helps Captain Harris in capturing the bad guys as he tries to use tactics to get the job done until he becomes a suspect for the leaks. Amazing performances from Marion Ramsey as Sgt. Hooks, Leslie Easterbrook as Lt. Callahan, David Graf as Sgt. Tackleberry, Michael Winslow as Sgt. Jones, Matt McCoy as Sgt. Nick Lassard, and Bubba Smith as Lt. Hightower help not only provide some humor but also moments that showcases why they’re great at their jobs. Finally, there’s G.W. Bailey in a wonderful performance as Captain Harris as a man trying to prove his worth as a cop as he bungles his way as he becomes a liability of sorts due to his own ego.
Police Academy 6: City Under Siege is a good yet messy film from Peter Bonerz. While it does have elements of past films that makes it enjoyable, it’s a film where it tried to be a lot of things but ends up being inconsistent though its cast keeps it fun to watch. In the end, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege is a terrific film from Peter Bonerz.
Police Academy Films: Police Academy - Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment - Police Academy 3: Back in Training - Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol - Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach - Police Academy: Mission to Moscow
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