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Sure, the humor is witless and the gags are often inane, but, given the quality of its predecessors, POLICE ACADEMY 3: BACK IN TRAINING has the dubious honor of being the funniest of the series to date. The bare-bones plot finds the governor (Ed Nelson) cutting back on funding for police
academies, meaning only one of the state's two such institutions will be allowed to remain open. An evaluation committee is set up, and Lassard (George Gaynes), head of the Good Police Academy, appeals to graduates Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), Hightower (Bubba Smith), Jones (Michael Winslow),
Tackleberry (David Graf), and Hooks (Marion Ramsey) to help train new recruits. Meanwhile Mauser (Art Metrano), head of the Bad Police Academy, does what he can to sabotage his rival's chances. Guttenberg and his cohorts make little more than cameo appearances in what is really a bunch of gag
sequences strung together. By now the characters are more or less established as an ensemble, so there are a few laughs to the film, albeit moronic ones. But the coarser buffoonery of the first two films has been toned down significantly. You can argue quality, you can argue taste, but you can't
argue the phenomenal success of these cheaply made joke-fests.